Whoever said, “Big things come in small packages,” is an idiot. I got a call this morning at my desk letting me know there was a “crate” in Hunter shipping headquarters with my name on it. After finishing my game of Angry Birds, and still slightly puzzled, I wandered downstairs to investigate and, sure enough, there was a big ol’ crate with my name on it. My birthday was just a few days ago, so logically I figured Gordy had gotten me a gift and a cute little brunette in a camo bikini was going to pop out of the box and give me a big hug. Bingo!
Well, after some dismantling of the crate, I found no camo cuties, but I did find another “horny” specimen: A mount of my first-ever mule deer. Happy birthday to me! I hadn’t seen this deer for more than 9 months. When we parted ways, I was in a truck heading for the Boise airport and he was in a truck heading for Natural Instincts Taxidermy in Portland. I’ve been killing whitetails with guns and bows and vehicles since I was knee-high to a fawn, but it was 27 years before I got the opportunity to hunt muleys. Translation: This is a big deal to me.
There was nothing sexy about our reunion location in the basement of the office, but it was great to see my muley again, and it’s good to have him home. And although I knew it at the time I placed the mounting orders, I didn’t—and still don’t—have a place for Mr. Muley to sleep. It’s not a bad problem to have, but it’s still a problem. Been there? Ah, well.
And as sweet as this week has been with my muley coming home and my birthday a few days ago, neither of these miniscule events come close to last Wednesday’s event: I got to meet my second daughter, Joey (I was secretly hoping she would stay “in the oven” for a few more days so we could share a birthday). Meeting my child for the first time is a complete and breathtaking miracle, and anything that can make this sarcastic, overly opinionated writer speechless is a miracle of special proportions.
I have only been speechless twice now since my existence, and both times revolved around seeing my little girls for the first time at their birth. But, as awesome as I feel now, I know there are going to be hard times ahead, especially when they start to involve naughty “little boys.” But I’m prepared for those days, when I’ll slowly lean over to the young man at my daughter’s side and softly whisper, “Just remember: Daddy ain’t afraid of going back to prison.”
Here’s to hoping the days are not far away when I’ll be uncrating one of my daughters’ taxidermy mounts.
Keep your nose to the wind.