My husband and I were so excited when we got pregnant with our first child. I wanted to be surprised, so we did not find out whether it was a boy or girl until the birth. I knew my husband had been pulling for a boy, but I was hoping for a girl myself. Either way I knew we would be thrilled with a happy, healthy baby, and the surprise was an extra thing to look forward to besides the baby itself.
Our first child was a boy, and my husband and I were overcome with the emotion of it. I could see the future flashing in Doug’s eyes. He would play catch, flag football, go camping, fishing, and hunting with his son, and he was already making those plans even though he was only a few days old. But time flew by, and we did get a daughter too, our second child. Now almost nine years old and six years old, my husband regularly ran around with them in the backyard. They would kick soccer balls, throw baseballs, and shoot basketballs at the hoop he installed over the garage. Even though she was much smaller, our daughter loved playing with her father and big brother, and got a kick out of it.
At nine years old, my husband decided it was time to take Jeremy on his first father-son camping trip, complete with fishing hooks, a Schmidt Rubin hunting rifle, and cans of beans. They would hunt and fish for their own food and be gone for several days. I made sure they had enough dry food and fresh water to last them, and reminded my husband as he was pulling out of the drive to be extra careful with the Schmidt Rubin around our son, and off they went. I was anxious without my guys for those few days, but I distracted myself by bonding with our daughter Amy, who was devastated to be left behind. We comforted each other while they were gone, and I tried to keep her busy with other activities.
I had never been much of a gun person, but when I married Doug he assured me of the precautions he took with them and when I saw how careful he was, I realized it would be okay. He kept the Schmidt Rubin locked up and out of reach of the kids at all times, but I was nervous about them on the camping trip. We had warned Jeremy extensively about the dangers of firearms for children and I was pretty sure he understood. But a mother worries, and I worried every day until they came home safely.
When they pulled into the drive Jeremy bounded out of the car full of energy and stories he told me until he wore himself out and fell asleep early that night. I could tell he was exhausted, as was my husband, but they had such a good time and I knew they had been able to bond so it was all worth it.