A new archer is born…

Mackenzie Renee – 8lbs, 20″

I’ve been fairly absent as of late, and this is the reason. I don’t think there could be a better, or more precious reason than this, but I apologize nonetheless. I enjoy sharing with you, and I’ve missed writing tremendously since her arrival.

Mackenzie Renee Viau was born on August 2nd at 11:39 p.m. Contrary to her sister’s birth, she was three weeks early and a very painful delivery. I’ll spare you the details, but my wife was not allowed pain killers. No big deal, right? A lot of women give birth without medication, right? I’ll have to fight the urge to slap anyone that says that in her presence from now on. An induced labor is a painful labor, even with an epidermal. Had she known she could have mentally prepared herself for the pain. Instead it came as a complete surprise, and delivered during a key moment in the pregnancy. It was very hard for me to endure her suffering, but she got through it and gave me another beautiful daughter, and Aubrey a lifelong friend in her little sister.

I am fairly confident our young family is complete, despite the urgings of family and friends to have another.

“You mean you aren’t going to try for a boy?”

No, we will not.

We had always planned on a family of four, we’ll let fate decide if it will grow beyond that. Sure, it would be a blessing to have a son, but it isn’t something I’ve dwelled on. I guessed that both kids would be girls, and I’ve been content with that from day one. My bucket list has always included being a daddy, regardless of the gender. There has never been a MOMENT of disappointment and there never will be.

“But what about when they are 13 and HATE you?”

I hated everyone when I was 13, so that point is moot.

“But what about when they start dating?”

I am buying a shotgun today. A big one. Plus I’ve got all kinds of broadheads, knives, and tomahawks to sharpen.

Aubrey loved her sister from the moment she saw her.

Kidding aside, having another little girl has put things into perspective for me once again. I’m busier than ever, and am realizing sacrifices will need to be made. For instance, this hunting season is going to be fairly lackluster. I was hardly able to hunt in 2010, following Aubrey’s birth, and I am doubting this season (other than Huntography) will be any better. I am a little bit freaked out by this. What will I write about? I can’t write if I can’t DOafter all.

And it isn’t just hunting. I’ve become a man who loves his space. Hunting is my favorite way to obtain said space, but there is also bow and arrow building, which I enjoy every bit as much. It is hard enough to find a spare 1/2 hour to work out without feeling guilty. Aubrey is at the age where she wants to do everything we do, and be around us every second of every day. I realize I need to cherish these days, I just need to adjust to the realization that more our time is needed and less my time.

I’m learning this is something to look forward to. Aubrey is already interested in what I’m doing. She enjoys watching me work in the shop, and loves to watch me shoot my bow. We even invented a game called “Go Get It”, in which she chooses my arrow, stands behind me while I shoot, takes me by the hand down range to retrieve the arrow, and helps me pull it from the target. I’ve even taught her the “twist and pull” so she doesn’t bend the crap out of my woods.

The invention of this game was an epiphany for me. I realized that our time could be a whole lot better than my time. I’ve been in “raising an infant” mode so long, I forgot that they grow and inherit interests of their own. While Aubrey and Mackenzie may not be interested in everything that Daddy does, there is a good chance they will be interested in one or two things. That would be fine by me, especially if one of them is archery/hunting.

The fairway at Compton’s traditional archery gathering, one of the annual events I hope to frequent with my family in the future.

I’ve often dreamed of camping with my kids, and bringing them to 3D shoots and events. Watching them experience the joy of casting an arrow would only intensify mine. Especially if they do so from a bow of my own construction.

I won’t force them to conform to this reality, but I’ve already started Aubrey’s bow…just in case.

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4 Responses to A new archer is born…

  1. David Benoit says:

    Nice post, Nick. I just came from a weekend of archery at a 3-D shoot with my family. I can tell you it is wonderful. Not all of my children shoot and not all will but we enjoy the time together. I have found that typically what we love, our children will love, either good or bad, especially if we have a strong relationship with them. Something that God does in their hearts. I’m certain as you lead them in the passion you have, while continuing to sacrifice and put them first, that drawing will come. Enjoy your time Aubrey, Mackesnzie and your wife.

    Oh, and to the boy thing, girls are easier. :)

  2. Congratulations Nick! Here’s to you and yours, long years, much happiness, and many misty forest mornings!

  3. Beautiful baby Nick! Really happy for you.

  4. Wonderful story Nick. I have only one child, a daughter, and she’s a good shooter. I have enjoyed many, many years of target shooting with her. I’ve never missed out not having a son. Now, I have a grandson and I do love spending time with him at archery shoots.

    At 73 years old, I’m passing my love of archery down to my grandchildren. Funny thing, my teen grandson is a good shooter, but not very interested in it. He’s more of a tomahawk lover. I gave him one of my antique ones and he took to it real fast. But, my granddaughter is very interested in archery and she’s a real good shooter. She’s only 6 years old and has real good form. She’s real serious about it and gets her mom (my daughter) to take her outside in the winter to practice at bit. We all live in the Metro Detroit area and shoot in our backyard or garage.

    So, enjoy those girls and teach them everything you know. Don’t hold anything back because of their gender. Spend as much time as you can with them in the outdoors and they will grow up better because of it. They’ll have great lasting memories to pass onto their kids and future generations.

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