Jaden got a bow and arrow for Christmas. This has been the year of “boy toys” … BB gun, pocket knife and now a bow and arrow. Jaden and I went to Buck Rub last weekend where Jaden participated in a youth bow and arrow league. The league is run by volunteer hunters who spend time giving kids pointers and keep score.
Jaden has been going thru a phase … or maybe he has reached the age where mom isn’t cool anymore. When we are home he is a total mama’s boy. He holds my hand when he falls asleep. ::insert sigh here:: However, when it comes to things like Cub Scouts, or bow and arrow, mom is no longer qualified. He just wants a dad. I thought Cub Scouts would offer him some male role models … it seems that in some ways it has only magnified the fact that the other scouts have their dads at tent camping and he has only his mom.
Kids are smart. My family is incredible and my dad and brother do a ton with him and show him father figure love and role modeling. Again, kids are smart. He knows it’s not the same as having a dad. For whatever reason (I may never understand but need to acknowledge) he feels a hole. It tares me up knowing that when I was pregnant with him, and his biological father walked out … this was my biggest fear. My one nightmare … that my precious, loved-beyond-words baby boy would feel the loss of a dad. I was determined to not let him feel this kind of pain. In fact, I have gone to great lengths of trying to compensate and ensure this didn’t happen. Yet, with regret, I know that his feeling of loss is also the product of my failed marriage and mistakes.
On Saturday morning, I sat at the table on the other side of the glass window and watched Jaden learn how to shoot bow. He looked up at these male volunteers with eyes that he doesn’t give me. His shoulders were held back and he was proud.
I looked at these male volunteers and knew they had no clue the impact they were making on my son. These men were kind and instructive. They gave him a whole hour of their undivided attention – correcting him when he was loading his arrow pointing at the kid next time him. They offered him pointers on how to hold the bow steady. They walked out onto the range with him and helped him find the arrows that missed the target.
Thank you. Thank you for giving an hour or two of your weekend to mentor these young men. You may never know the boys who are looking at you with eyes like Jaden … you may never know the impact you made on a young boy’s heart. To you, it’s a simple few hours of shooting. To my nine year old boy, it’s filling a hole.