I step into the archery range, a little cocky and a whole lot excited. Before I ever touch the elegant recurve bow, I am sure that archery will be my new sport. I am positive that I will excel at it. Archery is destined to be my thing.
Although I don’t have a long braid down my back like Katniss Everdeen, the arrow-slinging heroine from the blockbuster book and movie franchise The Hunger Games, I am still determined to stand tall and portray a proud and mighty archer.
There’s just one wrinkle in my suburban mom fantasy: as I enter the archery range for my first lesson, I am bringing along my eight-year-old daughter.
Katniss definitely did not have a kid. But I do—three daughters ages eight and under—and I imagine that archery lessons will be a good “experience” for my oldest. So, she’s along for the ride, an accessory to my mama dreams of archery stardom.
Within minutes, we’re outfitted with arm guards, finger guards, bows and arrows. I expected an hour of safety instruction. Maybe boring rubber arrows and such. Nope. We’re given a quick lesson in how to shoot real arrows with sharp tips (!) and then we’re off and running.
Our wobbly metal arrows fly across the range with a sharp thwapp! and hit the target.
My daughter cries out with glee. I’m kind of stunned. It’s nowhere close to the center but it doesn’t matter. We high five and then turn to pull more arrows from our ground quivers.
With each subsequent shot, our coach tells us additional things to focus on: how to sight down the length of the arrow, where to aim on the colorful target, exhaling before shooting, and reminders to straddle the line on the range floor.
Both of us are exhilarated and then it hits me: I’m not a mom today. I’m as much a newbie as my 8-year-old. She asks me if she is holding her bow correctly and I gently tell her we need to ask the coach. I don’t know what she needs to know. And it’s okay. We are learning together, mother and daughter.
I never stop thrilling at God’s creativity. Where I saw an opportunity to inject some thrill into my tame wife-and-mama life, God saw a place where two of His daughters could meet in a new way, together.
My highly emotional firstborn isn’t always easy. She’s already treading the early green grass of pre-adolescence. There are many moments of defiance. She is not naturally affectionate.
But she is also ridiculously creative. She’s a writer, a reader, a maker of Lego worlds. Her conversations are peppered with references to the Oregon Trail, feral cats and vacations I’ve long since forgotten — but she can remember right down to the color of our rental car.
I pray over this child all of the time, that God would pour Himself into her heart and saturate her words and actions. And when I least expect it? God shows me He is crafting our lives with such care and creativity that not even an archery lesson escapes His notice.Leave a Comment
Joanne Peterson says
Oh my yes, this resonates with me. I asked my four-year-old to draw a picture of our family. What I learned by observing his picture gave me insight in how he sees his place in our family. This sure made my eyes pop. His drawing was not something he could have put into words, but his drawing said it all.
How creative is our God to speak in all of the mediums out there.
When you were describing your archery lesson. I could just picture you standing there with your bow and arrows and letting the arrow fly. I wanted to be good at archery in high school in gym class. Maybe now that I am older, and see life differently, I can also try again, for mom.
This is beautiful. I love the idea of learning next to my daughters and letting them see their mother learning and experiencing at their level. God is in definitely in the everyday.
Holley Gerth says
Love that you and your daughters got to be brave and beautiful and adventurous together!
Lovelle Gerth says
Love this! Such wisdom… My hear really needed this today. Thank you.. <3
Aunt Laura says
Beautifully written as always. Love that you and your family do so much together!