25

His calm demeanor spoke of his excitement.  He averted his eyes from mine.  Slowly he walked towards me, taking his time, picking at the  invisible fuzz on his shirt, throwing trash away.  His head was down, reminding me of one short year ago when his hair was long and his eyes would hide beneath.  Still averting his eyes, but within ear shot of me, I asked.  “How did you do?”  It is the same simple question I have been asking my 16-year-old son for the past 5 years as he leaves the shooting line.  His eyes flicked for the briefest of moments, it was enough.  The eye contact was made.  His grin overcame his poise to be a somber teenager interacting with his mom. “25”, his only verbal response.  “I know” I said.  I did not hide my excitement nor would I ever.  I threatened a hug if he didn’t give me a high-five.  My enthusiasm for this sport has grown over the years.  I know the dedication the youth and their families must make.  Financially it is a wealthy man’s sport.  Time wise it is a sport for a buddhist monk.  Commitments to the enjoyment of the outdoors rivals a farmers need to sustain his livestock.  I have attended 90% of his practices, 100% of his competitions and I know the dedication my small 12-year-old had to have to accomplish his goal of a perfect round of Trap.  I sat perfectly still through the full 25 shots he took at the bright orange rocks flying from the trap house.  Breathlessly counting each shattering rock.  As the last rock shattered their was no stopping my pride for my son.  Congratulations Jason!Image 

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