Our local homeschool archery club started up again last Friday. My girls dearly love the feeling of a taut bow and arrow at the ready. They’ve never even seen The Hunger Games. But weaponry is always fun.
I generally come prepared wearing particularly brightly colored comfy wear. So I am not mistaken for a bale of hay. Or a moving target.
Jensen comes prepared to catch reptilian wildlife amongst the trees and shrubbery, with his gloved hands (he’s still not supposed to touch the lizard-life with bare hands because of his eczema and likely staph infections because of open wounds AND ALL THE NASTINESS THAT LIZARDS CARRY, per his doctor’s instructions). A friend asked me why Jensen wasn’t learning to shoot an arrow. I looked at her, “Have you MET my son?”
I fear that Jensen could set the sport of archery back a couple of hundred years. And greatly reduce the homeschooling population in one fell swoop. Nay. It’s better that the local lizard populace suffer the consequences of coming face to glove with Jensen.
There was one near human fatality when at the beginning of the practice as everyone (parents, archers, and siblings) was receiving clear instruction from Mr. Ron (an older gentleman who takes no nonsense from the children). Mr. Ron, noticing Jensen’s plastic coral snake that accompanies him on all lizard adventures, made note for the children to stay out from behind the bushes lest they get hit by a stray arrow or bitten by a snake. He went on to name a few species of snakes that he’s personally witnessed on the premises. At the mention of one type (I cannot remember which one because I was starting to hyperventilate at the thought), Jensen piped up and added loudly, “NO, THAT TYPE OF SNAKE IS NOT INDIGENOUS TO FLORIDA.”
I stopped hyperventilating long enough to begin a fervent prayer that the earth open up and swallow me whole. Mr. Ron is void of a sense of humor when it comes to know-it-all 8 year olds. As am I. Brain matter was everywhere as my head exploded and I drug my son off into the snake infested forest to have a VERY stern Come to Jesus meeting regarding the public correcting of adults.
Everyone then scurried off to their various targets and readied themselves with weaponry. I settled into my nice comfortable camping chair and began catching up with dear homeschooling friends that I’ve missed over the summer. After a while Jensen had amassed a following of pre-schoolers who were too young to shoot arrows. But not too young to do a Lizard Hunter’s bidding. He had several lizards trapped in his net lizard cage, and was sitting at a picnic table with his gaggle of new friends, holding court. Nearby on the bench was one nervous breast feeding mother (kin to several of the pre-schoolers in question…I think she had at least 7 children…you would think that nothing would faze her). I suspect she was leery of the loud 8 year old boy that was corrupting her offspring with his pied piper ways.
I was mid-sentence while having a conversation with several other moms when I distinctly heard my son’s voice, “Oh look, this is a male and this one is a female and they are getting ready to…”
At that exact moment I yelled, “JENSEN!” trying to stop him mid-thought as I flew over my camping chair and once again drug him off into the forrest.
Wherein another Come to Jesus meeting took place.
My friends were impressed that I could not only carry on a conversation with them, but that I was also tuned into my son’s actions and words 15 feet behind me AND that I could leap over a camping chair in a single bound. It’s a honed skill that I’ve had ample opportunity to perfect over the last 8 years.
I would say that our first Archery Lesson of the season was a learning success. Not only was P.E. covered (for me as well, as my heart rate never did return to normal) but science and health were also front and center as the mating habits of lizards no doubt was the back seat topic in many a mini-van that afternoon.
A blanket YOUR WELCOME I extend to all of my fellow archery homeschooling parents.
All I could think of on the way home was Steve Martin’s comedy bit where he wears a fake arrow through the head. I have GOT to get one of those before our next Archery meeting.