Saturday, November 3, 2012
Camouflaging “The Talk”
To say that I lead two very different lives is quite the understatement; on one hand I enjoy the finer things in life like manicures, Kate Spade handbags and red lipstick...on the other hand I enjoy layering up in camouflage, racking a rifle and mud-boggin’ in an old Chevy. This past weekend, I put on my finest camo outfit (lined with pink trim of course) and spent the day in a tree stand waiting on “the big one.”
My husband is an avid outdoorsmen; he hunts deer, duck, squirrel, rabbit and dove. And for those of you wondering, yes we eat it all. Paula Dean has nothing on my husband’s recipe for fried squirrel nuggets. As a young boy, my husband went hunting with his father and they spent countless mornings freezing in deer stands waiting on a big buck. If you were to ask my husband about what he remembers most about hunting, it isn’t shooting the 10-point that is hung over our mantle, what he remembers most are the hours he spent with his dad talking about life, relationships and the future. He remembers the early morning truck rides to the hunting club where his dad would talk with him about the most recent varsity football game and the evenings where they sat in a tree stand whispering about goals for the future. You see, it wasn’t the hunting that made my husband fall in love with the sport; it was the uninterrupted time he was able to spend with his father. Through the years, as my husband grew older and moved away from home, one thing remained constant - he never outgrew hunting with his dad. To this day, my husband still uses car rides to the hunting club and time spent over a campfire as opportunities to talk with his dad about relationships and family.
While I still don’t understand why I have to squirt fox urine on my boots and why I am forbidden to wear my Coco Chanel perfume, I do understand the need to talk with a trusted adult about life, love and the future. Even though my husband thought he was just hunting, his dad was using hunting as an opportunity to grow closer with his son. My husband now realizes that his dad was just “camouflaging” the talk – using existing opportunities to provide a listening ear and build trust.
As “Let’s Talk” month ends in October, let’s not stop talking with our young people but instead use existing opportunities to continue conversations with our young people about love, sex and relationships.
Of course, I may be talking TOO much in the tree stand given that I have never actually seen a deer!
by Sarah Kershner, Project Manager, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy