April 25, 2015: No Barbie Birthdays

Today Zach asked me to go with him to Cabela's to look at guns.

"Sure" was my answer.

After 22 years of boys, I am numb to answer any other way. Guns, hockey, baseball, fishing, sports trivia, action figures and action movies...I am now a pro. I would know no other way of life.

When the boys were small, I used to kid them that there would be no Barbie Doll birthdays for me. Then the  gave me a Barbie as a birthday gift one year. Although they kind of missed the point, I gave them an 'A' for effort.

We started our Chicago trips during their teenage years to follow our love for our Chicago teams. When my friends (moms of girls) talked about day-long, shop-til-you-drop days on the Miracle Mile...I was scoping out best tickets for the Blackhawks and Bulls.

Birthday parties over the years were filled with mounds of smelly and dirty boys who closed out the sleep-over nights with pick up games of sandlot baseball and backyard football. My living room would be filled with spilled juice and ricocheted rounds of Nerf gun bullets. Fortunately we had no girl drama or tears. But these undesirable party outcomes were replaced with an occasional split lip or upset stomach from too much candy.

Now big boys, they have moved on to everything sports and sporting. Grant is officially addicted to fishing. Every open moment is spent with buddies fishing from our nearby lakes. Birthday money is spent on new tackle and fancy lures. With three lakes at a walking distance from our house, he keeps busy with his new love. He sends me pictures of his proud catches.

And then I smile. These boys of mine have taught me to enjoy the small pleasures in life that I didn't even know existed. And I don't need to necessarily participate in their many adventures to appreciate their enthusiasm and unfiltered joy.

Today was like most for me. Accompanying Zach to Cabela's to check out guns. Why not? I did learn a lot. Who knew there were so many rifle and hand gun options? The gadgets and machinery for gun enthusiasts spanned aisles. Zach explained the many intricacies to me in great detail. My gunsmith son was like a kid in a candy shop.

As we walked to the parking lot with Zach's new purchases in tow, he asked where I would like to go.

"How about Nordstrom Rack?"

Without even a hint of hesitation, my eldest fought the Park Meadows parking lot and dropped me off at my desired destination. Our second stop of the day started with Zach giving me feedback on an ultimate sunglasses purchase. And then he held the glasses and perused the men's section while I participated in a little female retail therapy. A perfect gentleman.

Do note that it is our annual ritual to hit Nordstrom Rack off Miracle Mile on our annual Chicago trip. My boys love their shoes. So it was only fitting on a Blackhawks playoff night and a shopping outing with Zach that we would follow suit.

Zach captioned this 'magestic'
The way I figure it, as a mom to boys, I have an equal responsibility to shape them to be gentlemen as I do to be a good 'boy's mom'. Analyzing my eye wear and then patiently waiting on me outside the dressing rooms on a busy Saturday is a good indication that Zach is passing with flying colors. His brothers are equally following suit.

Now we close out our night watching the exciting third quarter of the Blackhawks playoffs game. Grant just called from Omaha to share his fishing catches the day and a score of a small fishing boat. Ben played pick-up basketball in Lincoln and is a text away from Zach on each Hawks goal. And their mom learned a few new things today about guns. Adding new wire-rimmed shades and a cute outfit to my closet was just frosting on the cake.

I deem the the day a success.

No caption necessary


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