Ode to the Hunting Widow

Ode to the Hunting Widow

If you detest hunting season, then you may as well excuse yourself from this eulogy that could be shocking or just plain annoying. I adore duck season and no, I have never even held a gun. Yes, it’s that time of year again and my forty something year old self cheers with sheer delight.

It’s hard to believe that twelve years ago I was a hunting widow on the warpath. I was livid that my husband had abandoned me and ridden into the sunset on December 23rd. How dare he leave me, his still fairly new wife to be on her own right before Christmas? And then, our first baby arrived. I am embarrassed to admit that I berated him for even contemplating leaving me with this tiny person, his son?!

What had changed for the indignant thirty year old, downright belligerent over the so called abandonment of self and offspring? I’d like to say that I have matured, love time alone with my delightful children, and value my husband’s camaraderie with old friends. Seriously, there is a tinge of truth in all of this. However, I’m also willing to be totally honest. The discovery of my own personal freedom drives this seemingly selfless altruism. Hunting weekends offer the closest thing to peace and quiet that I know these days.

It’s a Friday night, and as I await the snow, I am happy as a clam. Though the children are here, I can ignore most of them if I so choose, without one second of guilt, as they have sucked the life out of me for years now. A night of putting myself first won’t hurt them one bit. I relish this newfound freedom to be insanely lazy. I shoo children out of my refuge into their dad’s study to watch TV until I remember to yell at them to go to bed. I don’t tuck people in or even say good night, for that matter. I bask in my own vacation right here, the hunting widow on sabbatical.

This January, again, I encourage you to share the love of hunting season, though never divulge your unadulterated joy as there’s no need to relinquish the teensy amount of credit we receive as proper hunting widows.

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