With tomorrow marking the beginning of October, it means fall. Which means hunting season begins in just one month.
I have been going hunting with my dad ever since I was a kid—and I mean a kid. At six, I was trailing behind him on the trails, keeping my eyes open for the flash of antlers in the already-brown California mountains, learning how to be silent. It’s been the largest factor to the bond I share with him.
A few months ago, my dad brought up hunting again on the east coast, something we have done since I was legally allowed to hunt at 12.
“It’s only an hour up the road from your mom’s…” he said hopefully.
“Of course!” I all but screamed into the phone. My first hunting trip in nearly seven years.
. . . . . .
With everything that has been happening in my life, I’ve had time to evaluate what is truly important to me. One of those things is writing, and, as I’ve expressed in past posts, I am striving to take my writing more seriously. One way I am doing that is by beginning to work on a memoir.
The memoir is about those experiences hunting with my dad—what they have meant to me, how they have shaped me, and how they have shaped my relationship with my dad. Hunting has always been the thing dad and I did together. There’s one story, though, my dad tells anyone who will listen. We call it “the Bambi story.” He’s told it so often, I could recite it for you. In fact, I’m pretty sure he told this story to my husband once when we were dating.
In the past, I didn’t understand why he would always choose this story to tell. Was he trying to embarrass me? Was he making fun of me? As I got older, though, I realized he told it because it was a moment he is truly proud of. Don’t misunderstand me; he’s told me he’s proud of me on numerous occasions, but those are all “typical”—graduations, birthdays, my wedding… This particular story makes him proud in another way, and I think it’s the same reason I mention I love it so much—how many other dads can claim this moment? To him, it’s one of the coolest moments he has experienced as a dad.
It’s also the first real memory I have of hunting, which, to me, makes it an even cooler shared memory. I hope you think so, too.