Last Christmas, Michael’s big present was an airsoft gun. The plan was that he would shoot it Christmas week supervised, and then earn the ability to shoot it independently in the backyard. But, the gun ended up being too hard for him to rack. He would only be able to shoot it, until he grew, when his Dad was available to shoot with him.
He shot his gun two afternoons that week… nearly a year ago.
Then life happened. We had a difficult newborn, and a busy schedule… it was cold outside. By the time spring came, there was no Dad in his daily life.
For nearly a year the gun sat, neglected in a closet.
This Saturday was disappointing for Michael (and everyone). Plans fell through, the girls were still fighting a virus, plus it was rainy outside.
Suddenly, I just knew it was time to take matters into my own hands. I was determined that his day would not be a bust because of circumstances he couldn’t control- sick siblings, messed up plans, and yucky weather.
I pulled out his gun, took it to the covered porch, and figured out how to use it, which- I admit- was probably pretty comical.
The entire time he’s standing right beside me, both excited and nervous. Saying, “Momma, what are you doing? We need Dad or Mac-Mac or Uncle Gary…It’s raining…Do you know how to use my gun?”
And finally, loaded and ready to go, I pointed it off the porch and said, “Alright, Michael… lets shoot those ducks out on the lake!”
It was pretty cool, being his hero that morning. Showing him that we are capable. We can do anything we decide to do. Reminding him that life can be both awesome and difficult. It’s all about the choices we make- we can lay on the couch and mope, or we can head out to the porch and shoot at some ducks!
What a difference a year makes. It takes all his strength, but he can rack that gun all by himself. My boy is growing up. What a little man he is becoming. I loved watching his pride and excitement as he shot. Listening to him talk to his entourage of little sisters, who eventually found us and wanted to join our fun, as they stood there adoring him as he shot.
Later my heart nearly burst as he called his big sisters over and offered them several shots of their own.
And now, finally, he can go shoot his gun anytime he wants!
My boy gained some independence that day and I gained a new perspective on our lives.
We’ve lost nearly a year. For a year life has happened to us. All I could do was react to what was thrown at me.
I know it’s early for New Year’s resolutions, but here it is- no more merely reacting to the life that is happening to us.
From now on, I strive to act with purpose.
I can do this. We can do this.