10/11/12 - how cool is that???
So my parents bought Spencer a BB gun for his birthday. This purchase didn't occur before some careful consideration and an "OK" from Bob and I. But it's true that Spencer is now the (very) proud owner of a gun.
And I'm sure all of our family and friends back home are probably rolling their eyes and making some comments about our southern boys going all red neck. I'm not even going to try to fight it. The fact is, it's true that our boys are growing up in the south. They all have varying degrees of southern twang. They like chicken and dumplings. They watch NASCAR. They listen to country music. And they will all (likely) own guns. And I'm more than OK with that. If your opinions differ, I'm OK with that too.
This first gun purchase was something special. What I can't decide is if it was more special for the recipient or for the giver. I'm sure that my mom did the wrapping and the organizing and picked out the cool card with the "10" on it, but this gun is really from my dad. I just know that he put more forethought into this gift and how to give it and train on it and share his knowledge of it than others in the past. (I mean really, what does my dad know about a DS or a Wii game? What does he care about clothes or books? Guns... that's something he knows and wants to share.)
So the package was opened and Spencer, in true Spencer style, tried to hide how excited he was to get the one thing he actually asked for. He tried to play cool, but his eyes betrayed him and we all knew he was thrilled. Pappy didn't even try to hide his excitement as he marched Spencer outside to teach him the safe way to enjoy this new hobby. They carefully filled BBs into the gun's chamber (while thoughts of Beckett ingesting tiny balls filled my head.) They set up a little orange clay target in the backyard. They donned safety goggles. And then they started shooting.
And they shot and shot and shot. I was more than a little surprised at how good Spencer was at hitting the targets! He clearly has a good eye and steady hand.
And the next morning Spencer was up before the sun. He was dressed before breakfast. He picked his own clothes out and ventured into his dark room alone - which if you know him you know is NOT normal behavior. He was out on the back porch shooting targets again before Bob and I had finished our Sunday morning coffee. In short, I haven't seen him so anxious for something in a VERY long time. On multiple occasions over the next couple of days he stopped on his way out (or back in) and said, "This is pretty awesome isn't it?" And I had to agree, that it was! But my classification of "awesome" was for different reasons than his, I am sure. I place this in the awesome category because it got him, willingly, outside and away from video games and ipods. It introduced him to something new that he can enjoy for a long time. And it made him SO happy. Hard to argue with that!
Pappy was no less excited. He rushed out on Monday to pick up more BBs and more targets and made sure he was home before the bus to give Spencer the replenished stock. He took wire and somehow attached a coke can to our back fence. He was clearly in his glory.
My dad and Spencer have a really awesome relationship. It's partly because they get to spend so much time together, but I think it's also because they are SO much alike. Aloof, intelligent, sarcastic, stingy with hugs, yet always there when you really need them...
My dad is the director for Spencer's football team. He has been for the last 3 years. He gets to see a side of Spence that Bob and I don't even get to see. He gets to say things to Spence that no one else will hear. There is a trust building between the two of them that I wouldn't trade for anything - in the whole wide world. The football photographer for our team captured a special moment between the two of them that I love. A photo that I know Spencer will treasure for many many years. It was just a moment... in a long string of moments that make me smile.
Is my dad living vicariously through my boys. Yep! And I wouldn't have it any other way. They are the sons he never had... just so happens they are GRAND.
Thanks Dad! For all you've done for my boys and all the things I know you will continue to do. (And a special thanks to my mom for letting him be a little boy from time to time!!)