I admit it — my feathers were ruffled. I wasn’t able to fall asleep at night due to a parenting decision I had to make. My husband and I were trying to decide how much of the rope of freedom to cast out with our oldest son. Recently, he has been demonstrating maturity and wisdom. However, this is the child whose trip to summer camp ended with a tour of three different emergency rooms and two ambulance rides. Trauma has a way of shadowing future decisions. What could he possibly want to do that would inflict such drawn-out deliberation and hesitation? Two words are to blame: duck and hunting. That makes it sound too harmless and simple. Let me try it again. He wanted to ride in a small boat on frigid waters along the Ohio River with strangers wielding loaded weapons to hunt ducks. Also noted, he needed a ride from mom or dad at 4 in the morning in order for it to happen. My experiences with duck hunting are very limited. In 1984, my older brother had a brand new Nintendo that came with the game Duck Hunter. We took turns sharpshooting with the orange plastic gun. I think it was the original first-person shooter game.Sometimes I was able to shoot a duck. Most of the time, a dog materialized on the screen and laughed at me. Thankfully, we never really became hooked on video games. Duck Hunter only came out of the entertainment stand one day of the year on Thanksgiving. Ritualistically, we watched that dog laugh at us for the next 20 years right after eating pumpkin pie.
My other lasting impression about duck hunting was a result of my love of reading. Thanks to the written word, coupled with my vivid imagination, I’ve travelled the world, experienced catastrophic forces of nature and lived in different eras. My first choice of reading material is captivating stories about history. When my son mentioned duck hunting, all I could think about was the great Armistice Day storm of 1940. Duck hunters in the midwest flocked to the Mississippi River dressed for the unseasonably warm and mild autumn weather in short-sleeved shirts. [full article]