The Longest Yard

Too many of my blogs circle back around to songs, movies, & mainly the tv show Seinfeld (I swear Larry David & I are related), this time, I’m going for a movie title. I would like to thank Mr. Burt Reynolds for the title inspiration. If you are a younger person, it’s highly likely you don’t know Burt Reynolds. Burt was the star in the first version of the movie The Longest Yard, some of you only know the Adam Sandler star of this movie, although Burt was in the Adam Sandler one. Man, Burt was a good looking thang in his younger days & the first movie was the best! My favorite memory of the now deceased Burt Reynolds was of him guest starring on The Golden Girls. Burt showed up at the house to pick Sophia up for lunch & Blanche, Dorothy, & Rose were in awe. He asked Sophia which one was the slut & they all raised their hands & said “I am”. Last year at this time, we were having a time with Jack, which is not to say we still aren’t, certain things have eased up some. He was locking himself in his room all day & night, wasn’t sleeping, with many nights he was awaiting a visit from some stranger he met online. Our lives are still upside down a lot of times, but were completely topsy turvy last year. Since Jack was around 7, he has looked forward to hunting season. However, last year he was extremely active in live chatrooms where he was talking with strangers & they could see him & his room. Lee killed a very nice deer years ago & had it mounted. Jack wanted the deer in his room ever since he saw it. The mounted deer hung in Jack’s room for the longest time, until last year when one of the people he was communicating with told him to take it down, that it was wrong to kill deer. Now whether you believe it in or not, is neither here nor there. The point is, Jack is so impressionable, he was persuaded to take the deer down & had zero interest in hunting whatsoever last year. Lee was so upset about those people making such an impression on Jack, that I think he may of thrown the deer away. I remember very clearly this same time last year receiving a call from Jack about Lee’s mounted deer. He wanted it out of his room & wanted it out right then. I also remember calling a friend telling her that Jack was going to have to be placed in a facility. I couldn’t deal with this torture any more. It was hell on me staying up with Jack all night long then trying to work & be a wife, Mama, daughter, & friend, not to mention the hell it was on Lee, Coleman, & Ava, plus we were scared of all his online activity. We honestly never knew what we were going to be faced with from day to day.

After all the torturous events that occurred between last year & present date, Jack has gotten back into hunting. There have been many events, most unpleasant & occurring multiple times a day. Out of the blue this summer, Jack began talking about deer hunting. We kind of poo-pooed it thinking he would forget or lose interest, but no, the hobby prevailed! As fall got closer, Lee began baiting the deer, cleared out the hunters den, even took Jack target practicing. Now you must be thinking the same thing we both are, Jack with a gun, how dumb are we? Apparently, pretty dumb, but it’s all done in order to meet a need to get Jack off electronics. Lee is so smart & cautious about everything (except trying to locate the ketchup in the refrigerator, why can’t men find anything in there?). Last Saturday was Jack’s day. He anticipated going hunting all day, even dressed for the occasion hours prior to going. Lee agreed to take him late that afternoon. A male hunter can always tell a story much better (maybe a little bit exaggerated, too), but I’m going to give it my best shot.

It was hot that day, close to 90 which was a concern since Jack’s body temperature isn’t regulated like ours, heat can cause seizures. Also, there was quite a bit of walking involved & that can also cause seizures because it is physically exerting to his fragile body. Poor thing dressed in sweat pants, his Daddy’s shiny, hot letter jacket from junior high school (1980 something), & his red Power Ranger vinyl boots. Let me stop here & share the story about these boots. Last Christmas Jack wanted these boots, Mama gifted Jack with these boots. They smelled/smell like straight-up poop! We all died from the smell as he paraded the shiny boots all around our house. His room smelled like a horse barn & my whole house smelled like you were getting close to the horse barn! After a few weeks of pleading with Jack, I finally convinced him to let me put them on the porch to air out. Typically, if a pair of shoes gets left on our porch, some random dog comes along & takes one. I was so hoping Spot would come by & grab one, I guess they stunk so bad the dogs wouldn’t even touch it. His boots aired out for several months…they still reek just like they did on Christmas Day. The smell is as strong now as it was then nearly a year later.

Back to the deer. Dressed for winter in October which was actually like a summer day, Lee & Jack trek through the woods on their quest to kill a deer. After getting settled, in their nest, deer were on the move rather quickly, which is wonderful considering the circumstances. You’ve got a child with a huge tendency to overheat, thus have seizures, a long walk to their hunting site which can bring on seizures, & the excitement factor that can bring on seizures, so the fact that the kill happened so fast was a blessing. Lee doesn’t load the gun until they are situated. Once the deer move in, Jack shoots at three & misses. He asks Lee to do it for him. Lee declined & told Jack he needed to take his time & aim. See, Jack thinks he can do anything without taking the time to learn how to properly handle a task. His fine motor skills are weak & he’s very uncoordinated, so this was really a success story. After a pep talk from Daddy, Jack successfully made the shot. Although a small deer, it was Jack’s first time, Lee’s first in seeing one of his kids following in the footsteps of one his passions-hunting.

The grin on both of their faces was tremendous. Jack was so proud that he was able to shoot a deer. Lee was so excited for him. They took the deer to the processing plant to make sausage & such. Jack is wanting a deer hamburger, not sure about that one. Lee plans on cooking the deer hamburgers tonight, thank goodness I have a ball game! Since killing the deer & with target practice, Jack has had a bruise on his arm from the kickback of the rifle, but he’s proud of it. Proud like a boy is of his first blackeye in a backyard rumble. He has told the story numerous times to various people, even asked me if people around town were talking about him & his deer-has even called the Wildlife Preserve. He’s been calling them for a few weeks now nearly everyday. Jack inquires about his hunting license, tells them where he & his Daddy will be hunting, called to report his deer being shot. I’m thinking, Lord, he’s gonna get Lee arrested somehow or another. Jack keeps asking if we are proud of him. Reports to me daily on how many yards it was from the rifle to the deer, 48 yards he says-hence the title of this blog. 48 yards may not be very long to you, but to a special needs person, it is the longest yard ever. This memory will last forever for Lee & Jack. The worry, the sweat, & even tears made this picture worth it all.

Author: dravetsyndromeblog

42 year old Mama of three kids, wife of a farmer, & business owner.

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