Deer hunting season means I get 42 hours all to myself.
Being a deer hunting widow means there will be no one in my house asking for food, beverages, clean socks or a back rub. There will be no one who needs advice, an extra $20.00 or a ride anywhere. There will be no one playing the piano badly, tracking a trail of mud through my kitchen, or falling off the jungle gym requiring a trip to ER.
It will be bliss.
Deer hunting season is when Mr. 4-Ever takes the boys north to commune with nature and other like-minded men. They will eat bacon at every meal, sit around a fire sharpening knives to throw at trees and not change their undies for two whole uncivilized days.
I was giddy with anticipation for their adventure and my staycation.
I went to the video store and pre-selected the chick flicks I would rent the second Mr. 4-Ever’s truck disappeared from view.
I squirreled away deli treats and expensive cheeses, hiding them in the recesses of the frig where no one would find them. I bought sparkling flavored water and good chocolate which I kept hidden in the trunk of my car until the magic moment.
Finally, on the appointed day, the camo-clad men departed for the northern woods and I scurried to the video store.
When I came home I locked the door and pulled the shades.
I set up my TV tray of delicacies and pushed play on the first movie.
An hour later I heard a key in the door!
What manner of surprise is this?
My son, the firefighter, (who had not spent a night at home in forever), was at the door.
“Hey, mom, whatcha doin? I thought you might be lonely since everybody is gone, so I decided to come over to keep you company.”
(I stared at him incredulously thinking,“Oh, look at my considerate boy,” and then just a quickly, thought “What just happened here!?!”)
He plopped down on the couch next to me.
“Can you rub my shoulder? I think I pulled a muscle,” he said as he reached for a buttery prosciutto and Havarti cracker sandwich.
“What are you watching?” he asked, looking at the paused movie on the TV. “Have you seen the movie Drive Real Fast and Wreck as Many Cars as Possible in 90 minutes yet? Oh, and the entire Testosterone Trilogy is on Netflix!”
I turned off my chick flick and we watched a marathon of masculine adventure shows.
I rubbed his shoulder.
We ate my snacks, and he thoroughly enjoyed my sparkling water and exquisite chocolates.
“You should get this stuff more often, it’s really good!” he exclaimed.
“Isn’t it though!” I replied.
When the last movie ended, he said, “Mom, I’m kinda worried about you all alone in the house, I think I’ll stay here with you to make sure everything is okay.”
“Of coarse, I’d love to have you here.”
He stayed with me 36 hours.
We watched more man-movies.
We ate all my stash of treats, we played games, we talked about his future, his woman and his dreams.
It was glorious.
Even if it wasn’t my plan.
Laying in bed, I counted my blessings.
I have a son who is so keenly aware of the world’s propensity for harm that he would sacrifice one of his rare night’s off to spend it protecting his mother from its reach.
Sometimes, God hands you a delicious change of plan that is nothing you would have chosen, but exactly the encouragement, reminder or encounter you need.
Scripture Refresher: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galations 6:9-10 NIV)
Prayer: Father, thank you for my family, my biological family, my adoptive family and my family in the Body of Christ. I am keenly aware of my need to live life with them. Let me always remember the gift that they are as I serve you and serve them. Amen.