Sunday, November 27, 2022

The No Grandma Zone.

 This morning I woke up to a message from my youngest daughter suggesting that Spook's name be changed, since 'Spook' is an old perjorative term for a person of color. Of course, I knew that but the 11 year old boy that named the cat did NOT know it. I felt no need to educate him in that regard. Spook is also an old term for a haunt and the cat is slipping around, sticking to the shadows and dark corners of our house like a little spook. Hence the name. 

It was brought up that even if William did not know this term, if he discussed it at school, other children might be aware of the connotations, especially if they are brought up in racist homes. Some teachers might wonder if William was being raised in a racist environment. 

In the end, there is no reason to create controversy for William. His life is difficult enough without any extra bullshit. So we discussed it and we bounced around names for a while, finally deciding on 'Houdini'. William is a fan of magic and Houdini is a apt name for a disappearing cat. 

William and Tim went out hunting today. William is a junior hunter, and this is his first year. Tim is a big fan of hunting and he really enjoyed teaching our two boys the craft. Having his hunting buddies grow up and move on was a sad transition for him. He was anxious that William give it a try and William seemed quite amenable to the idea. 

I keep trying to tell Tim that William might give it all a try and decide it's not for him and that he needs to be prepared for that possibility. He swears that he is, but he went out and bought William a deer rifle to use that will 'grow' with William. He was excited as could be to find a new blaze orange hunting jacket for William in the Goodwill. They've been practicing with the gun. William is a bit afraid of it. He wears ear plugs but he does not like the kick. He is fairly consistent hitting the target. (He's a dead eye with his bb gun and spends a lot of time target shooting the spinning woodchuck target during the summer.)

In any case, they went out today. Tim did not take his gun. He's been keeping a close eye on the deer and he knew where a spike and a four point were coming in nightly. He set up a blind a couple months ago. We have antler restrictions here, so they were not legal for Tim, but they were legal for a junior hunter like William.

They waited inside the blind and the deer came as is their habit. Tim and William sat side by side in the blind and grandpa began coaching him in a whisper about setting up the shot. In the end, William couldn't do it. He got nervous. He refused to make the shot. 

They sat side by side in the blind, one patient man, one nervous boy. The deer finally strolled away. 

Once they got home, I told Tim, 'You know, he just might not be cut out to be a hunter, and you need to let him decide on his own. If he doesn't want to go out..." At that point, William walked in on the discussion. He got upset, and made it perfectly clear that he does want to hunt, and he does want to go out tomorrow morning and he does want to get a deer. 

Grandpa was getting ready for bed tonight. He's had a chest cold for the past three days and is pretty tired, but he wants to take William out tomorrow. I began to quietly express my concerns. Patiently but firmly, he told me to leave it alone. First time hunters get buck fever sometimes. He assured me William would do better tomorrow. 

I left it alone, but I see it plainly. My grandson is becoming a man. This is between him and his grandpa. 


19 comments:

  1. I overheard the big guy say to Jack this morning, "Don't tell me what to do.", a sixty-one year old man telling a three year old. They're both like that, nobody can tell either of them anything, and they're not even related by blood:)
    I try to stay out of it too.

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    1. Grandmas have their place, but Grandpas can teach lessons that grandmas can't.

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  2. I didn't know first time hunters who were shy had "buck fever." Sounds better than Grandpa's cold or all the other ills floating around. Linda in Kansas

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    1. There are some funny buck fever stories out there. Most hunters have a few.

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  3. Guns and hunting for an 11 year old seems to sum up the biggest difference between our country and yours!

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  4. I hope William doesn't feel obliged to claim he wants to hunt in order to fit in with his g father's idea of a man.

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    1. That would never happen. We know that it might be the tendency, but we talk about it frequently, with William. He knows that it is not an expectation.

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  5. Ah- so much like what goes on around here. My husband is a hunter too, and our oldest grandson is learning and has taken a deer or two, the next grandson in age is just starting. I really don't understand the desire to hunt and it is hard for me to stay out of the conversations but...I do.

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    1. I do not understand it either. I tried it. It is not my 'thing'. I harvest the vegetables, Tim harvests the meat.

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    2. Count me in for vegetable-harvesting! LOL

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  6. Yes, sometimes what kids repeat can be misinterpreted. This clip came to mind of a little girl concerned about her parents growing weed at home.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyIgVU3lvcA

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    1. It reminded me of the time that my daughter told her teacher that I was drinking too much. After some delicate questioning, it came out that I'd gotten a new cappuccino machine

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  7. A shame when you have to think about stuff like that when naming a pet. Houdini is good, though. We called a puppy that once since he was quite an escape artist.

    Buck fever can happen to anyone, not just first timers.

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    1. That is correct. It happened to Tim when he had a very nice buck in his sights. He got it, but he couldn't believe he was shaking.

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  8. Our oldest grandson, who is in his thirties and has no children, has taken a young fellow out for three straight years to hunt. The boy's father doesn't hunt, so he brings his son out here and the grandson takes him out morning and evening for a couple days. That boy has no desire to shoot a deer, but his friends are hunting and of course, he wants to be like them; however, when a deer shows up, he doesn't want to shoot it. But he can tell his friends he went deer hunting, and that's really what it's all about.

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    1. That made me smile! Boys need the commeraderie of good men, don't they?

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  9. I must be out of sequence, for I have read your apologetic and wondered what I had missed.

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    1. I posted twice in one day. Sorry about that AC.

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