The other night I was standing in the kitchen when I heard Sam fall on the stairs. There were a couple of small thumps followed by one rather large and mind-cringing loud thump. Then there were screams. Since I didn’t have a visual on him my mind instantly imagined the worst and I sprinted towards the stairs to make sure he was OK. Halfway into my sprint my second smallest toe on my left foot connected with the leg of the table chair and brought me to my knees. Still concerned about Sam but in immense pain myself, I crawled to him and found him sitting on the stairs crying. By then the pain was so intense I didn’t have it in me to pick him up to soothe him. For a moment we both stared at each other with tears in our eyes and screamed for mommy. If only a camera had captured the event…
I was relieved when I heard her running to the rescue but the pain in my toe and heart increased when she opted to soothe Sam instead of me. I was obviously in more pain. Three minutes later he was back to playing with his trains and I was scared to look and see if my toe was still attached to my foot. Now I walk like a pirate with a wooden peg leg and I’m useless around the house.
It’s still there but it’s definitely in rough shape; probably broken. The bruising has crept two or three inches into my foot and I’ve been reduced to half the man I used to be. In fact, I have felt so useless over the weekend that I’m beginning to think I should be put down like the Omega Force soldier in the movie Canadian Bacon. (see 30 seconds in)
So, what am I to do? I can’t mow the lawn, I couldn’t focus in church, and I surely can’t wrestle with Sam for a while. I’m out of commission with a big “USELESS” label slapped on my forehead all because of a little toe. Looking to capitalize on the moment, my wife said, “You probably can’t go hunting for a while.” I was floored at her suggestion. Are you kidding me?!? She is clearly not a hunter if she thinks like that. Trust me; the first thing that went through my mind (after I knew Sam was OK) is “how will this affect my hunting?”
I have good news for all of you - It won’t. You should be encouraged by that. All of the other items I mentioned earlier – chores, taking care of the kids, church, etc – are things that require you to be useful. But the next time someone dares to confront your ability as a hunter I want you to remember that you don’t have to be useful to go hunting. That is a big difference and one that may not help you win a debate with your wife but it will add some logic to the conversation – something that’s often missing during a debate with a spouse. She may not understand the logic but here are a few examples that will help you in an argument.
- Question: “So, you can’t mow the lawn but you can hike through the woods?”
Answer: “Yes. First of all, it’s not hiking, it’s hunting and to hunt successfully one must go slowly anyway.”
- Question: “So, you can’t mop the floor but you can climb a treestand?”
Answer: “Yes. I will climb one step at a time, and slowly, just like always. Plus, once I’m up there I’ll be elevated off of the ground and when you are trying to reduce swelling it’s good to elevate an injury.”
- Question: "So, you can’t get off the couch to help set the table but you could drag brush to construct a ground blind?”
Answer: “Yes. My arms work fine and the brush required for a ground blind is small. Besides, I can always stop at any point.”
You see, each question is easily answered with the truth, which also happens to be logical. I hope you never have to deal with an injury as devastating as a broken toe, but if you do, rest assured that you can use it to you advantage to navigate your way out of household chores and into the woods. After all, I’ve read that’s where real healing takes place anyway.
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