For more middle-aged child rearing and marriage humor from Leslie find her at agingersnapped.com. This post was originally featured there.
I was lying in my bathtub this morning when my husband came flying in with his usual sense of urgency.
“Do we own a net?”
“Yes! A Net!”
“No, but put it on the list and I’ll be sure and pick one up next time I’m at Walmart,” I said dismissively, with my characteristic lack of urgency. Which, I admit, is most pronounced in all matters of household maintenance, of which I’ve grown decidedly weary and largely unmotivated.
“Get out, of the tub! I need your help! We have birds in the house!”
I wasn’t sure at first that I heard him correctly. We have had NERDS in the house. We have, on occasion, even had TURD in the house, but I think he just said we have BIRDS in the house. Which, I supposed, would explain why he’s asking for a net. Sometimes, I just need a minute to process things.
And, then I put it together – I realized that we had literally jinxed ourselves with a conversation we had earlier that day.
My husband and I had our first two children in our early 20s. At the time that we had these little girls, we were friends with several couples, approximately the same age as us, that also had two children. The difference being, these couples stopped reproducing themselves after 2 children. About 6 years after we had our first two, we caught what is often referred to as a second wind and had 3 more children. One more darling girl, capped off by two perfect sons. Suffice it to say, our second wind blew harder and more powerful than our first wind. The irony, however, is that many of our closest friends are now, “Empty Nesters,” while we are still deep in the throes of childrearing.
We see these Empty Nesters everywhere. We can not seem to escape them. They mock us on social media with their newfound freedom. Still young and beautiful, they frolic about, flaunting their utter lack of responsibility. They travel to Europe, dine at fancy restaurants and attend wine tastings in Napa. We can’t verify this, but we are pretty convinced they probably make love whenever, wherever, right smack in the middle of the day, while they still have energy.
My hubby and I were sharing our morning coffee today, wistfully gazing at Facebook, sighing over pictures of our best friends from college prancing all over the world. There were pictures of them smiling merrily in a Gondola in Venice and shooting Limoncello in Rome (probably toasting their own reproductive wisdom and foresight.). Naturally, our conversation turned to wondering if we, too, might one day become actual “ENs.”
That’s when I’m pretty sure we jinxed ourselves. Instead of getting birds out of our nest, we actually let a few more in!
Back to the bird situation: In the absence of a household net, my husband requested two towels. I was further instructed to hold one towel up vertically, “Like a Bullfighter in Spain!” I made an on-the-spot decision that this might not be the ideal time to mention to my beloved that I’ve never seen a bullfight, never been to Spain, and at the rate we are going, probably never will.
My man proceeded to impress me with his proficient use of Towel #2. He tossed it over the first bird and released her tenderly into The Great Outdoors. The remaining bird, he pointed out, was the male. “This is going to be trickier,” he explained, as though he were a card-carrying member of The Audubon Society, “The male bird’s lack of direction is probably what got them into this situation to begin with!” (It seriously took my husband a full 32 years of marriage to admit this obviousness?)
We had quite a battle on our hands with that male. Eventually, my husband managed to capture him and carried him flapping like crazy to our backdoor. Trying to be of assistance, I said frantically, “I’ll crack open the door, you thrust him high up in the air, with some force, and then when he starts flapping, jump back in the house and we’ll slam the door quickly behind you, before he has a chance to change his mind!”
It was infinitely harder to rid our home of the male-of-the-species, which we sincerely hoped wasn’t some kind of foreshadowing …
That little guy dug in and resisted his own emancipation. But, no matter – we now feel confident that we have a pretty merciless exit strategy planned for when the time comes to show our boys the door!