The tires sang their boring melody as we drove across the miles. Like the ever changing southern Indiana landscape, so were our subjects of conversation. From deer hunting, turkey hunting, school, work, God, prayer and most of all – character, the topics spanned from shallow to deep.
Questions that only a child could ask we attempted to answer. Expressions that only a child can give left us filled with laughter. Little did I know that this moment would be the best part of turkey season.
A new job and busy schedule left us with only a few days to pursue the allusive Eastern turkey. Wanting my boys to share in the joy of filling a turkey tag, we resigned our place in the hardwoods so they could have the opportunity. We had some close calls and great times, unfortunately, “if” and “buts” are the summary of this years turkey season.
A few years ago we would have felt a sense of failure if we ended the season empty handed. Maybe it’s age or a new sense of appreciation for the big picture, but this was the best turkey season ever. Laughing and sharing with our boys made this season more fulfilling than any other. Listening to them share life experiences and how they are applying the lessons they learn made this season extremely rewarding. The conversations that surrounded the trip, the laughing together and the sharing of tears and triumphs, has given us a new definition of success.
Success is often defined by the bragging rights associated with a harvested animal. How easy it is to feed the ego and forget the value of the entire experience. No photos can be taken of time spent discussing the things that matter most. It’s hard to share with friends the heart-felt satisfaction that comes from being a recipient of your child’s hug. Few people give slaps on the back for smiles shared in cherished moments. How easy it is to forget the things that really matter. Ultimately, it was the quality time spent sharing that made this season a success.
As a dad, I have no beard to display or spurs to show. Our satisfaction is hidden in the recesses of a fathers heart. A heart that is full of the moments shared with boys who made my day by sharing their heart and soul. When your children share what they are learning in life and how they are applying it to be a person of character – can anything be more satisfying?