Ending On A Good Note

Tears streaming down her face, I agreed to head back to the car and and hang out for the last 20 minutes of shooting. The sound, and even the thought, of shotgun blasts had her terrified. We had never had this problem before and the two younger kids were unfazed, simply wanting to shoot some ducks.

Frustrated, I didn’t want to quit hunting and I didn’t want my daughter to be scared doing something I love. Trying my best to coach her through it had failed and throwing in the towel seemed to be the only reasonable thing to do. Years of training horses and dogs has taught me to always try and end on a positive note. I was struggling to make that happen.

As the sun set and legal shooting was over, we headed down to the makeshift blind rejoining Matt and the boys. Together we packed up our gear, pulled the decoys, and enjoyed some leftover Christmas fudge. We then loaded up the car and pointed it toward home.

I mostly tell parenting stories of things going well. Focusing to much on the tough stuff can quickly morph into whining. But in reality it isn’t all roses.

During the drive home I was quiet in thought, trying to determine what my next move would be. I didn’t want this negative experience to have a lasting effect and I wasn’t sure how best to proceed. From the back seat my daughter broke the silence “dad can we remember to bring ear plugs next time.”

2 Comments on “Ending On A Good Note

  1. It ain’t about ducks. It ain’t about you. It’s about her. You’re doing just fine, Dad.

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