Five-twenty AM, it’s just him and I in the quiet of the morning. The tick-tock of the clock is magnified as we talk in hushed whispers to one another.
Today is the day. The long planned for and anticipated day. Deer season has begun.
We talk about what he’s going to do, where he’s going, what his plans are for this big deer hunt. He talks and I listen with my mother’s heart, buckets of love charging from my soul.
I see him by oldest boy so grown up, yet still my little boy. I want to grab him and hold him close. I want to cover his head in kisses. Instead we joke.
I watch as he dons his many layers. I hold my breath as he doses every inch of his clothing and equipment in dirt spray. I help him tighten his fanny pack full of essentials. He doesn’t really need my help, I just need to give it.
Love pours from my eyes as I watch him place the orange camo hat that was his dad’s when he was a teenager, on his head. Can he see it? Can he feel the thickness of the love and compassion in our little mudroom?
I can. It’s lodged in my throat.
He picks up his gun. I don’t dare hug him now and leave my scent on him for the deer to catch. So I pretend to hug him. I blow him kisses. He smirks. I tell him I will be praying for safety and a successful hunt as he heads out in to the dark.
I walk quickly through the house to the living room window. I watch him as he walks across the yard. I pray. I watch as he reaches the field. I pray. I watch until I can’t see him anymore and I pray.
I pray, thanking God for sending me such a wonderful son. And I ask Him to provide safety, wisdom, and success to my growing up man/child. And I ask Him to guide me as we walk together into this brand new time of life. A big boy getting bigger and a momma who is learning to let go bit by bit.
And in the quiet I hand him over to God…again.
(Deer #2 shot in the evening.)
The Buck Master has arrived!
(boy #2 shot his first ever deer last night)