survival and the world of masculinity, Jan 19th / by Carey

(Little) Buddy has always loved being outdoors, but the fascination has taken a bit of a turn.  It started when we found _Man Woman Wild_ on Netflix and watched every episode, learning about survival.  Then we discovered _Man Vs. Wild_ with Bear Grylls.  Six seasons, full of episodes, about surviving in every climate, every country, all over the world.  It's a boy's dream.  He is absolutely obsessed with it right now.  And I confess, I really enjoy it, too.  (and realize if I'm ever in a survival situation, I'll most certainly die)

We struggled a bit with what to get the Buddy for Christmas this year.  His birthday is only two months earlier, which makes it more challenging.  As they've aged, finding a "toy" is harder.  There just wasn't a clear "he is gonna LOVE this" item.  At the last minute before Christmas Shawn was at Dick's Sporting Goods and saw a cheap hatchet and a flint striker.  He picked them up and we gave them to him a few days later.

I cannot tell you how many hours he's spent playing with them.  That last minute $10 or so dollars was the BEST gift he's ever received.  He's a little lackadaisical about the hatchet -- Shawn feels like it'll only take one time for him to really learn the lesson.  I'm kind of fond of his fingers and wish him not to lose one at 7 because he didn't fully understand the ramifications of a carelessly laid hand in the path of a well swung hatchet.  I'm trying, really hard, to let him be a boy, and let his dad take hold of this.  One more rung down on the ladder of the hold that momma has on her little boy -- letting him step ever closer to that world of masculinity.  Golly, that is hard to do.   I did ask for him not to get a knife just yet.  I don't think he's ready, and I know I'm certainly not.

At the same time, however, it's beautiful to watch.  It's beautiful to watch him watch Shawn, and try to emulate him.  It's beautiful to watch him run face first, head strong, toward the world of men.

Just the other night his sister had long since fallen asleep and was laid in her bed.  He was snuggled up next to me in our bed, and we were about to start an episode of Man vs. Wild for his "last show". Just a few moments before, he'd taken off his pajama pants so that he was in just his underwear.  He gets hot and tends to prefer just the briefs to sleep.  Shawn finally came up and headed toward the bed.  He was shirtless and wearing sweat pants.  Little Buddy jumped up like something had bitten him, and grabbed those pants back, scrambling to put them on quickly.  When I asked  what on earth he was doing - for he'd just taken them off - he replied "I want to be like Daddy, wearing just pants."

My heart melted.  Literally melted and oozed down onto the floor.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

All he wants to do is start fires.  He's tireless in the efforts.  If you've ever used a flint striker, it's a lot harder than it looks.  At least, this one used with the hatcher sure is.  The one Bear uses on tv seems to work much quicker. Perhaps that's just tv.

I shot these with my Nikon D800
Nikon 85mm f1.8
Nikon 50mm 1.4D
Sigma 30mm f1.4