Opinions Requested

Hi all,

I hope you are all doing well. I am doing an official check-in.

We here at the coop are all hanging in there, after a couple of blips in February. littleb had knee surgery for an old injury (he’s 15 and has an old injury-how does that happen?) and so has missed out on basketball season for this year. Now, he’s on the other side, mending well, and hoping to be in shape for the summer league. I’ve been back at the hotel for a little over a year now. It’s gotten much better and we’re busy, but we’ve got a ways to go before we are back to pre-Covid numbers.

I need your opinion on the following situation. It’s not super important-just wondering what other people would do. My grandaughter, Mac, is turning 9 next weekend. NINE! I can’t believe it. We’ve been texting back and forth about presents. A few days ago, out of the blue, she texted me that she wanted a bow and arrows. My first thought was Hellll no….Then, I remembered being nine. You may or may not have read the story of my childhood dream to be adopted by an Indian tribe, conveniently living in the woods in back of my parent’s home, or, if not really living there, perhaps there would be a portal I could slip through that would take me back in time where, for sure, there must have been Indian villages living in the woods in back of my parent’s home. I was obsessed. With the aid of books I borrowed from the library, I made a wig-wam, a canoe (sort of) and my own bow and arrows. It never occurred to me to ask for a modern-day bow and arrow because, in my mind, if they could chip an arrow head out of flint and tie it to a stick, so could I. And then I went squirrel hunting. Luckily, I was a very bad shot and my arrows were a little top heavy, but it kept me busy and out of the house until dinner time, and I considered all of this practice for my real imagined life, that hadn’t yet begun. I assumed my new parents would teach me all of this stuff once I found the portal.

So, really, Mac’s request struck a chord in my heart. How many years does she have left to imagine herself as a mighty warrior, protector and provider for her tribe, before peer pressure has her wanting a curling iron for her birthday. The kind that curls, straightens AND crimps. If, in her precious pre-teen heart, Mac is seeking adventure and a little danger, I want to be the kind of grandmother who is her strongest ally. I just don’t want to be the kind of grandmother who thoughtlessly gives dangerous gifts requiring lots of supervision and potential holes in things, both living and not.

What would you do? Did you have a childhood dream of adventure and feats of daring-do?

Chickenout

  13 comments for “Opinions Requested

  1. jenny_o
    March 9, 2022 at 2:07 pm

    Chicken! So glad to see your head pop up in the blogosphere! Knee surgery at 15 years old – you have one tough son. I hope he mends well. Regarding the bow and arrows, can you ask the parent(s) what they think? I always appreciated being asked if there was a potential issue for my kids. Maybe there is a non-lethal version that would be suitable (suction-tip arrows or foam arrows). It’s neat that your granddaughter has the same interest as you did when you were young!

    Like

    • March 9, 2022 at 2:26 pm

      Hi Jenny, I did check with my daughter-we’rr thinking archery lessons. Mac has never show an interest in Native American culture…she’s more of a gymnast and fashionista. That’s why this most recent request took us by surprise. Chances are, while she was perusing Amazon for present ideas, a picture of a girl her age wearing a cute outfit and sporting a bow and arrows set popped up, igniting her imagination with all the possibilities haha. But I know an opening when I see one..

      Like

      • jenny_o
        March 9, 2022 at 5:40 pm

        That sounds like a great compromise. Will the cute outfit come with it? lol

        Like

      • March 10, 2022 at 3:02 am

        Oh definitely:-) I do love a good archery outfit:-)

        Like

  2. March 9, 2022 at 6:16 pm

    Chicken, your granddaughter most likely is not thinking about archery lessons. You say she’s a fasionista and saw a picture of a girl with a cute outfit – the bow and arrow were probably a side effect. I saw buy her the outfit with a non-lethal bow and arrow.
    I once said I wanted a train set to make a scene for under our Christmas tree. I got a locomotive but also got alot of advice on how to build a full-scale layout in the basement. It toally discouraged me on building something for Christmas. Just a thought.

    Like

    • March 10, 2022 at 3:00 am

      Miss Judy, I think you may be right. A cute archer’s outfit and a low key bow and arrows set is probably the perfect combo. And maybe a lesson or two just for fun and safety. And some polymer clay because who doesn’t need that, and a pony statue because if a 450 pony collection is awesome, a 451-pony collection will be even better! Who gave you all of the advice on a full-scale train layout? Someone who really really loved trains?

      Like

      • March 10, 2022 at 3:25 am

        Good plan! The advice was from my husband. His brother had an expansive and expensive layout and collection of trains. I do have the locomotive, some cars and track if I were to built something small for Christmas.

        Like

  3. March 9, 2022 at 7:05 pm

    We shot bow and arrow in the backyard (and it was a big yard, lots of distance between houses) when I was a kid, but we were a bit older, like 10 or 11, I think. Our arrows were the kind for target practice, not yet the bladed ones for hunting, and the bows were simple long ones. Still, they could’ve done some damage if they met anything other than the big hay bale with a paper target pinned to it. But we were a family of hunters, so all this was good hand-eye coordination practice for the day we turned 12 and would take the hunter safety course my dad taught and learn to shoot a .22 rifle and then a shotgun. My brothers got BB guns at age 8, I think, though. I think the parents need to be involved and on board with their kid having a bow and arrow.

    Like

    • March 10, 2022 at 2:50 am

      Hi Paulette! I ended up getting her a beginner archery set, with her mom’s permission. I think I found a place for lessons, too. If nothing else, it will be a fun distraction for awhile and then you might see a posting on EBay for a “slightly used” archery set, “will trade for Barbies”. We didn’t have anything as structured as what you got in the way of training, but my uncle used to take us up on the hill and let us take turns shooting his pistol. It was fun and made us feel like we were really cool (we were not) Do you still shoot?

      Like

  4. Doug in Sugar Pine
    March 9, 2022 at 10:06 pm

    Yay! The Chicken posted again! I’m glad things seem to be on an even keel out your way as the goddamn apocalypse winds down…
    Let’s see, bow and arrows, granddaughter nine years old. Well, I would say it depends on her situation: does she have somewhere to actually shoot a bow and arrow where she can miss a little and not cause too much trouble?
    I come from a family of hunters and got my first firearm (a Montgomery Ward single shot .410 shotgun) for Christmas when I was nine. I think the Daisy BB gun was Christmas when I was six. We lived out on some acreage and there was a shooting range off of our sundeck.
    The bow and arrows were bought at Montgomery Ward with my allowance, under the stipulation that I didn’t shoot any animals with the practice arrows that were all I could afford. That was never a problem, as I was never a good enough shot to hit an animal anyway.
    After we moved into town, I used to take them to the big field below the athletic field at the Junior High School that was just across the swamp from our house and shoot them occasionally, but I had pretty much lost interest by then. I think I was twelve, and by then motorcycles had captured my attention, and didn’t leave much room for bows and arrows or hunting.
    So, yeah, the curling iron is probably inevitable, so any actual childhood she can squeeze into the intervening time might be something she ends up valuing after she grows up.
    OK, I can’t write a comment about bows and arrows without ratting Briana out: Briana grew up way out in the boonies on a ranch in Trinity County, and she had all manner of firearms and such when she was a little girl. Her dad had a real, honest to god Browning hunting bow that I am not currently strong enough to draw. She was target practicing with her bow and arrow one time and her brother popped his head right into her line of fire and the practice arrow hit him right between the eyes, luckily not seriously injuring him.
    He did, as one would expect, start hollering his lungs out about it, and ran to Briana’s mom to get her in trouble. Her dad, though, who had a wicked sense of humor, assessed the situation, turned to Briana, and said “Nice shot.”
    I don’t think she got to keep her bow after that…

    Like

    • March 10, 2022 at 2:44 am

      Doug! How are you? One apocalypse winds down and another winds up. Well….that doesn’t really seem fair. Why squelch such an obvious talent? I mean maybe her brother should have watched
      where he was going, don’t you think? Your and Briana’s upbringing sounds a lot like mine…running wild in the country…good times. We didn’t have a Montgomery Ward nearby but I remember the catalog well. Mac actually does live in a place where there’s space to practice pretty safely-I think she’d be fine for as long as her interest lasts, but I looked up archery lessons and it just so happens there’s an archery center about 10 minutes from each of our houses-pretty serendipitous, right? And, now that I think about it, having experienced a number of curling iron burns and having forgotten to unplug a few curling irons, also, in my day, the bow and arrows are probably the safer gift! I had a good friend named Paula growing up. She was one of 3 or 4 girls in a large family, all close in age. If they left a curling iron plugged in, their dad would throw it away. Then they’d have to go out and get another one. He probably should have bought stock in Clairol instead. Those girls all had the best hair! And the occasional house fire

      Like

  5. Joanne Noragon
    March 10, 2022 at 12:55 am

    How nice to hear your voice!
    Is there a venue nearby where she could learn to shoot? There’s a girl’s school near me that included shooting lessons at day camp. If you could find a way to educate her, I’d spring for a beginner’s set, like Ralphie’s beginner Winchester (or whatever it was), If she’s not serious, then a realistic toy set.
    Be back soon.

    Like

    • March 10, 2022 at 2:26 am

      Hi Joanne! It is nice to hear from you, too. I found a place nearby for lessons and I’ve contacted them. Ordered a set off good old Amazon. I’ll be interested to see how she likes it! Funnily enough, she lives next to the YMCA and they do summer camp and have an archery station in the woods. She could actually go up there to practice, but where she lives there’s a lot of room, also. I think I might take a lesson, too;-)

      Like

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