Saturday, September 22, 2012

Young Men

They are changing, right before my eyes.  Muscles popping out all over.  Hairy legs.  Deeper voices.  Needing to shave that upper lip.  New interests replacing old ones.  Taking responsibility for themselves.  (Have not had to 'encourage' Wyatt to get up for school even once yet :D )

They are putting stretch-marks on my mommy-heart as they spread their wings.  Some of their projects drive me a bit crazy, like the Maverick - Moving Armored Vehicle - (previously referred to as the War Wagon) they're building in the driveway.  Other interests I'm more enthused about.  So when they asked if they could bid on an item donated by a friend of mine in a fund-raising auction last July, I said Sure.  And they won.

You've heard of bi-vocational pastors, right?  (If not, that's a pastor who supports himself with another job.)  My friend Gerald is more than bi-vocational.  He's a pastor, a choir director, a librarian... and an award-winning marksman, who donated a one-hour shooting lesson, intended for one person...

which he graciously extended to a two-person, two-hour bonanza of careful, detailed instruction and

The boys - Wyatt and Tate - were in proverbial Hog Heaven.

Though they've shot rifles many times with Grandpa Grasshopper, this was their first exposure to hand guns, and they loved it.

That colored gun may look like a toy, but it's a laser - for practicing aim and holding steady while pulling the trigger (not as easy as you might think.)

Then they moved up to a .22 pistol.

And there were more.  Many more.  All handled respectfully and with great care taken not to mix up the ammo.

They couldn't wait to get their hands on the Big Kahuna (I think a Smith and Wesson .44?) - the boys aren't here to correct me.  My young men are off all weekend on a SAREX - a Search and Rescue training Exercise - yay, CAP :D

They started off with some lighter loads, but when they moved up to the heavier loads they realized how much it can kick.  Which is why Gerald wisely loaded just one bullet at a time.  (No misfires with the gun pointed up.)

And it wasn't all BANG-BANG-BANG.  They worked on proper form.

And learned to load and unload safely.

And blasted bowling pins and metal "plates" to their hearts' content.

And came home happy and all in one piece.

I love it.

On a side note, if you noticed that Tate is wearing his ear protection "wrong", it's because he can flip his HA on and off quickly.  On, to hear instruction, and off to let the earmold function as an earplug.  Interestingly, he just took the CI off and didn't need to protect any hearing in his left ear (since there isn't any) but wore the ear muff because he could feel the pressure against his ear drum.

His hearing devices (both) will not amplify sounds to dangerous levels, so theoretically he could leave them both in and on, and probably will while hunting - since actual gunshots are few and far between, and it's rather important to hear environmental noises!  But we try to protect the hearing he has left - especially at the shooting range, where the noise is constant.


Doug Hibbard said...

That laser device needs to go on my Christmas list.

Depending on how the boys hunt, it should be possible to slide the earmuffs on when getting ready to shoot. Just takes a little practice. I hunt from a deer stand, though, and have a little more freedom of movement there than when I stalk, so I make sure the ears are protected.

Plus, shooting in an enclosed box is louder than in the wide open field, so the muffs are a necessity. Even though one of my hunting buddies laughs at me for it.

Choate Family said...

Way to go, guys! You're right, Julie, they are growing into young men right before your eyes, and you and Kerry get lots of credit for how well they are turning out.

Felicity said...

That looks like a lot of Boy Fun!! I like the 'stretch marks on my mommy heart.." I'm getting some of them too!