Along The Trail 3-7-13


Contrary to what my sisters might think, growing up the youngest isn’t always as easy as it appears.

Sure, being the baby of the family has some built in perks, doubly so if you’re the “baby” boy. Maybe the special treatment is a result of guilt from our parents for not taking enough photos of us who are the last of their spawn; or maybe it’s the fact that they have already been run through the mill by our older siblings…

Yes there are some benefits to having older sisters, especially when it comes to the high school social scene and you’re a puny freshman with a senior as a big sis!

But, it’s not always easy.

Growing up with an older sister who is beautiful, smart, witty and popular isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I lived in the shadow of my closest sister for years, known more as “Lisa’s little brother” than by my first name.

I have been blessed with two of the greatest kids I could’ve ever hoped for. A wonderful daughter and a fine son, three years her junior. Much like my childhood, my son has the benefits that go along with having an older sister that is smart, beautiful, social and popular – and, the challenges that come with having an older sister that is smart, beautiful, etc., etc.

My two couldn’t be any more different. Liv is outgoing, comfortable in just about any situation, an accomplished public speaker and would rather lead than follow. Always busy, always on the go.

Drew on the other hand is quiet and reserved, almost shy. Listens and learns, but not quick to speak. A real home body that would rather be in the company of a couple close friends or family.

It can be tough living in your sister’s shadow.

Where Liv hits her stride, either in the classroom or on the athletic field, doesn’t hold much interest for the boy. Yes, he’s a good student and extremely athletic, but he’s found his niche in the woods and the outdoors and there isn’t much fanfare or accolades – and to be honest, he’s perfectly fine that way.

But this past weekend, he stepped out from his “big” sister’s shadow and received some well deserved recognition. Humble and meek, he was called to a stage in Kansas City, Missouri in front of a couple hundred hunters, all members of the Compton Traditional Bowhunters. His lanky frame and long stride made its way to the podium where he was presented with a beautiful plaque honoring his achievements and prowess as a hunter in the world of traditional archers.

The “boy” thrust his hand forward and gave a firm handshake to the presenter, paused for a photograph and then made his way back to his chair as the audience clapped their approval for the 15-year old.

I’ll probably never get to experience a Senior night or a high school athletic banquet with him, but as we made the long drive back home and I glanced at the 6’2 “kid” poured into the seat next me, I think to myself that he’s starting to cast quite a shadow of his own.

The Compton Traditional Bowhunters is a national organization of nearly 2000 members that promotes the use of traditional archery equipment and preserving the heritage of bowhunting and the sport of archery.