A Letter to my Mom

by Heather Pleskach

With Mother’s Day coming up, I thought we’d focus a little bit on mom. After all, moms sometimes don’t get the appreciation they deserve. Often the glue that holds the family together – making sure the kids make it to sports practice, eat healthy (okay, somewhat healthy), have clean clothes and finish their homework.

I’m going to get a bit personal here. My mom did all the above, plus held down a full time job, made sure the bills were paid and kept the household running (among other things). I’m sure most of you can relate. Let’s not for a minute think that meant my dad was lazy. Nope, not in the least. Dad was a very hardworking man with lots of chores to accomplish on the weekends and during his breaks as a school teacher. But, I digress – this post is about moms, not dads. Okay, we’re going to talk a bit more about my dad, but that’s only because it leads into more about my mom.

Growing up, dad made every opportunity available to get us interested in hunting, fishing and the outdoors in general. We did a variety of activities and dad always encouraged us to share in his hobbies with him. I went partridge, squirrel, rabbit and turkey hunting then eventually deer and bear hunting. I belonged to the archery club and fly tying club that my dad was the advisor for. We went fishing and ice fishing, camping in the woods, rode four-wheelers and picked wild blackberries. The list goes on. I say “I” but there was a lot of “we” involved, as I grew up with five sisters.

So how does a father manage to get his six children so actively involved in the outdoors? You guessed it, the support of a mother. My mom was in the background – helping us clean and prepare our game, waking us up for early morning hunts, making us breakfast to take in the hunting blind, making sure we had hunting clothes (she even sewed clothes for us… ladies, am I right that there weren’t great camo options back in the day?), and on and on. I’ve seen recent research stating that families who have mothers that actively encourage their children to get involved in hunting and shooting sports have increased participation than mothers that aren’t supportive (I’d cite the research here, but just take my word for it, okay?). Well, my mom never took my sisters and me out hunting or taught us how to sight in a rifle, but my dad couldn’t have done it without the support of my mom. I’d say she definitely encouraged us by giving my dad the opportunity share his knowledge and expertise with us. And she did go with us and participate in many of our family fishing, canoeing and other outdoor adventures.

And my mom made sacrifices as many moms do. Growing up, I had absolutely NO idea that my mom used to hunt. After all, growing up my dad would go hunting and mom would take care of us kids. It wasn’t until we were old enough to take care of ourselves that she started hunting again. I thought she’d just taken an interest in hunting because dad and my sisters would be hunting and she wanted to too. I was so very wrong. Mom went hunting prior to having children. Once she had little ones to care for, she selflessly put her passion for hunting on the back burner to take care of us and allow my dad to continue his love for hunting. As a mother of two, I can relate to my mom’s sacrifice as I’ve only been able to get out hunting a handful of times since becoming a mom a little over two years ago.

This mother’s day (and throughout the year – because she deserves it), make sure you take a moment to thank your mom for her love and support over the years. Maybe she is like my mom – or maybe not, but I bet she’s pretty great. So with that said -- hey mom, if you’re reading this – you are the absolute best mom a girl could ask for. You are the rock in our family and a constant in my life that I can always count on for help and support – regardless of the situation. I love you even if I don’t always show it.

Now, without further ado… look at some of my mom’s more recent harvests. Her hard work and dedication makes me so proud!