I’ve never seen my mom shoot a gun, and I’ve only seen her catch one fish. But she loves to eat those deer in Nebraska that “just taste a little bit better than back home” and doesn’t mind frying, baking, or grilling a few fish fillets for dinner.
And she also has never minded when her husband, or her son, has been a little bit late after a morning on the lake or a little bit grumpy after an early wake-up to set up decoys. Sure, she threw Dad’s dinner out the back window nearly 30 years ago when he was 3 hours later than when he said he’d be home. A story that is always completed by Dad saying, “You should have seen how many ducks were at that place.”
But overall, she was, is, and will always be the type of non-hunting mom, wife, or friend that a person needs to have. There’s no telling how many conversations I’ve been in with people who are unable to do the outdoor things they want because “he/she doesn’t want me to go.”
I’ve never understood that mentality probably because I grew up in a house where there was a lot of give-and-take on both sides. Hunting and fishing trips for us and shopping trips for her – everyone often cut their excursions short so we could spend time together.
Relationships are always a give-and-take. Which is why this weekend it’s so important for me to let my mom know how much I appreciated how she treated Dad and me through the years. I wish my mom a Happy Mother’s Day because while she had her rules (1. Don’t track mud into my house; 2. Fish will be cleaned outside; 3. Deer meat can be trimmed up inside but there better not be one speck of blood in my house; 4. Take all of your shells, ear plugs, fishing lures, and the like out of your pockets before your clothes are washed; 5. I will be taken out to eat on Friday, and the men will cook on Saturday and Sunday; 6. Shotguns, rifles, and fishing gear can be cleaned inside the house. 7. Smelly muzzleloaders must be cleaned in the garage; and last, but not least 8. When all else fails, clean up after yourself and you’ll never hear a complaint from me), she also understood why we did what we did.
It came down to the point that her husband and son loved to do these things, and why would she want to be the person to keep them from doing what they loved to do.
And we love her for that.