Thursday, December 11, 2008
Ever since I put a picture of Tom on my blog with a big gash on his forehead, I’ve been meaning to tell you the story behind his injury. In hunter’s parlance, he “got scoped.” When I was in college, “to scope” was to check out hot guys. This morphed into calling all hot guys you liked your “scopes.” Well, this is different from what happened to Tom.
He was in WV hunting with my brother. I was at home seething because he always leaves me alone with the kids for the first part of Thanksgiving week while he takes this trip. It took me until about Wednesday to get over myself and realize that leaving a mom home alone with two toddlers is vastly different from leaving her home with a 7 and 9 year old who are in school 6 hours a day. I had also overlooked the fun of having cereal and/or grilled cheese for dinner each night and blogging until 2 am without feeling like I had to explain myself.
During this year’s hunting trip, my 11 year old nephew rose to the ranks of the adult hunters by bagging 3 deer. Tom’s pressure to perform rose too. You see, Tom was not raised in a hunting family. When he and I married, my brother and his fellow hunters welcomed him warmly and spread the love of expensive hunting equipment, copious amounts of fried food, and male bonding, but Tom was still on the fringe. What he needed was to bag a huge buck.
Over the years he has endured some teasing, most of it deserved. There was the year he took a novel out into the woods with him and was caught reading under a tree. Or when he got excited and shot a “button buck”—when he was supposed to leave it alone so it could mature into a massive beast. Another time he fell asleep and nearly got trampled by a herd of deer running down the hillside on top of him. My brother and his friends are Southern-ish good old boys. Burps, farts, dirty jokes. Tom is all Northern private boarding school. Reserved, tidy, preppy.
So, when Tom did take a shot at a deer this year, not only did he miss, he bashed his head in with the scope from his rifle. Blood everywhere. Wounded pride. A Harry Potter-like scar. Much explaining to do at work, at church, in the hood. It didn’t help his self esteem when my brother let me shoot a rifle off the porch at a target and I almost got a bulls-eye. Beginner’s luck.
Oh well, part of me wants him to start hating hunting since I’m not really in love with the concept and so we can all travel together for Thanksgiving next year. The other part of me wants him to get back into the game and keep trying. This will be a great example to the kids about perseverance, and who knows, he might even bag his elusive “Moby Buck.”