Give The Kid Some Rope And Hush Your Mouth

Brad Gill | September 26, 2021

More thoughts from the middle-school football bleachers.

Have you ever seen those fanatical parents on the sidelines, the ones who would make a child-development professor cringe? I’ve watched parents holler at their kids through four very long quarters of play… as in every single play. I never quite figured out if they didn’t trust the coach’s instructions or maybe the lung exercises were a special dose of encouragement I’m not familiar with.

As a parent with two of my own, I’ve learned there are times when shutting my mouth may be the best education I can give them. After all, I won’t always be around to offer my 2 cents, so in these early years, I’m thinking it’s best to let them make some moves, even if they’re wrong, on their own. Here lately I’ve been seeing some fruits from that. Thank you, Jesus!

A 12-year-old hunter I know had a big day on Sept. 11. It was his first time bowhunting, his first time hunting from a climbing stand and his first time hunting all by himself. That big day didn’t just happen on its own.

The first few years of his hunting career were spent watching daddy hunt. Then came the years when he had a .243 in his hands with dad at his side. It took a while but those first few deer finally came.

So the big day came on the morning of Sept. 11 when my little buddy was given a little of life’s hunting rope and took the 75-yard hike from his house and climbed a tree.

The text came in exactly at 8:17 opening morning.

“Sorry, no tracking.”

Lilly, my little deer-tracking dog, was sitting on the couch with me as I sipped on my first cup of Saturday morning coffee. I honestly had no idea what my young buddy was talking about.

“Huh?” I texted back.

“I didn’t see a deer this morning,” he wrote.

I smiled. I could have texted back something like, “In my 35 years of deer hunting, I’ve always found 8:30 to be the magic time of the morning.”

Naw, he’s been told that before. Looks like he’ll need to learn that lesson on his own. I’m confident it’s on that piece of rope somewhere.

Good luck, buddy.

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