There was a time in the not-so-distant past when I loathed deer hunting week. Hated it with every fiber in my being. And it all boiled down to the fact that I did not sign up for single parenthood, not even for a single week of the year. Because raising kids is hard, and when they’re little, it’s physically and mentally hard.
Today, it’s a different picture. Of course, a lot has changed in my life, so those changes are really why I’ve had a, well, change of heart. But I don’t want to get into the changes; I want to list the reasons why it’s not such a bad gig anymore.
That’s way more fun.
So here we go…
We live in a small house. It’s fine for the three of us plus the dog, but it’s admittedly cozy at times. Our garage just barely fits our two vehicles. (In fact, when we were considering buying my husband’s truck, we had to drive it home and check to make sure it actually fit into the garage, because my dad’s truck, which is similar to the one my husband ultimately bought, doesn’t. It’s about three inches too long.) So when it’s just my cute little black Malibu, that baby gets parked right smack in the middle. Swing those car doors all the way open. Don’t bother checking to make sure the door isn’t going to scrape the back bumper because I didn’t pull it far enough in again. Walk all the way around the car without having to turn sideways and balance my laptop on my head. Yeah, baby.
Oh, and then there’s the bathroom. We have one-and-a-half baths. All my “stuff” is in the half bath because that way I don’t have to fight with anyone for personal space. Until recently. My daughter, who isn’t a fan of mornings, has for some reason adjusted her wakeup schedule so that it basically coincides with my husband, who upon waking, has a morning ritual that involves locking himself in the bathroom for at minimum, thirty minutes. So my little half bath has gotten even smaller, now that I’m sharing it with my daughter. But not this week, baby!
And then there’s the bed. Yes, I love my husband. Yes, I actually do enjoying sleeping with him. But, true confession; I’m a bed hog. I’m that person who lays in the middle, spread eagle, and falls asleep with a smile on her face. My husband jokes that he gets approximately a sliver of bed space, and to make matters worse, apparently, when he comes to bed after I’m already asleep, I like to cuddle up to him, thus shrinking that tiny bit of space even more. This is all, of course, a lie, since, when he’s gone, it feels like I’m sleeping in the world’s largest bed and it’s the greatest feeling in the world. I sort of wish I could stay awake to enjoy it, but having the bed all to myself creates an instant snoozefest for yours truly.
I’m not saying my husband is a slob. I’m just saying that I clean my house when he leaves for deer camp, and it doesn’t need to be cleaned again until five minutes after he comes back home. You decide if that’s a coincidence.
- Breakfast for Dinner
Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner? My husband, that’s who. Yeah, I know; he’s probably the only person on the face of the planet. (Don’t ask; I gave up trying to understand him a long time ago.) So yeah, whenever he’s away, my daughter and I do what comes natural: eat French toast and bacon and fruit. Or maybe scrambled eggs and sausage and hashbrowns. Or… maybe we need to eat breakfast for dinner more than once this week. Heck, why not?
- The Commute
Sadly, writing books does not pay my bills, so yes, I have a day job. And five years ago, the company moved to the other side of the world—or, in the world of Detroit traffic, the western suburbs. Where there are too many drivers and apparently not enough roads and the ratio of asshole drivers is seven hundred times that of any other place I’ve ever experienced.
On a decent day, it takes me an hour to get to, and then from, the day job. And as I live in Michigan, if there isn’t snow on the ground, there are construction barrels blocking my lane. So yeah, I hate my commute. No, I don’t think you understand: I loathe it.
Except during the opening week of deer hunting season. As all the hunters flock north in search of Bambi, I get on those nice, quiet roads and get to work—and home—in a relatively reasonable amount of time.
(Side note – hunting is sadly in decline in the state of Michigan—check out this article in the Detroit Free Press—and in an effort to improve my commute for a single week of each year, I strongly suggest you decide to pick up a new hobby. Go hunt Bambi!)
- Quality Time With the Kid
Despite all the above pros to deer hunting week, the best, by far, is hanging with my daughter. You see, she and I love comic books-turned-to-movies. We love animated shows. We love cheesy chick flicks. My daughter especially loves anything with Zac Efron in it. (Can’t say I blame her.) So during the weekend while my husband is sitting his ass in the middle of the woods in subzero weather, we’re curled up on the couch in our PJs bing-watching all those movies he bitches and whines about if we watch them while he’s anywhere in the vicinity. It’s heaven.
So yeah, I’m over hating hunting season now. In fact, go ahead and extend it, DNR. Feel free. I won’t stop you. In fact, I’m your biggest advocate.
Now, I wonder if wine tastes good with eggs…