Monday, March 30, 2009

rite of passage.

my first and second (and i use the term "my" very loosely!) have just returned home from a weekend of turkey hunting with their Papa. there is the smell of man about them; they share private jokes which result in rolling giggles... they have quickly hushed stories to share of untold quantities of consumed fried catfish, coke at night,a certain inability to stay still in the "blind" (and resulting opportunities to tromp in the giant gully nearby), big trucks stuck in Georgia red-clay... and not one turkey in sight.

they sport sleepy eyes (up at five till after 10!) and grungy shoes and new cammo gear and huge rain boots. there is a new and deeper bond forged with a man God blessed our family with, and there is the sense that soon, they will be much older, perhaps (and prayerfully), wiser, and i have the awareness that not long in the future, they will know the sweet sadness of sacrifice so that mankind will have food provided by God... at their hands.

it's bittersweet, this blessing. they lose a bit of little-boy, and yet they gain strength. it is one more reminder that they are "borrowed..."

i often wistfully imagine days of quiet and the opportunity to sip lattes and read novels mid-day... and yet i am sharply aware today that those days will come too soon, and i will miss the never-ending chaos. soon, perhaps tomorrow, "my" boys will be the men God is shaping them up to be.

thank you, Papa, for a Papa here who joins in this process.


Shelby said...

Such a wonderful post, my friend. It goes by much too fast - and every single day is oh so worth it!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad they had a good time. J wants to go hunting but I know no who hunts, he went to a camp this weekend and they had a guest speaker who spoke about growing up with out a father and it hit home with him pretty good. But she said the same thigns i have always told him. Rise above it.. Remember it when you have childrena nd be the best father you can be. Your boys are so blessed to have a father who does things with them like that.Can't wait to hear about the next hunting trip.

Mike Ritter said...

I was always happy to get in the woods but never a macho hunter. it was painful, not triumphant, when i killed a deer (twice). But getting out there and being in the woods with the men is really neat.

Rachel, I know Angela's old church has a men / boys hunting trip every year and if you look around groups like wild turkey federation and buckmasters offer hunting trips for kids w/o a dad to take them.b

Six Feet Under Blog said...

Sounds like a fun time. Like the photos too!