"How are you with birds?"
This seemed like a loaded question. Obviously. I thought it had something to do with the "surprise" trip he has planned for my 40th birthday next Spring. The surprise I keep hinting that I'm not happy about, no matter how much he thinks I might be into it.
I even reminded him that one time I got on a plane and got surprised by getting new parents. (Before anyone gets their panties in a knot I acknowledge that things worked out for the best, but I'm entitled to also acknowledge that this might have slightly damaged the children involved, so stop.)
I thought maybe there was a bird sanctuary on the tropical island he picked. I was just imagining it, deciding that definitely a solid melon colored dress would look best on me in photos as I bravely kissed a parrot perching on my shoulder. I decided that yes, I'd be okay with birds.
Turns out, no. That wasn't exactly what he meant.
"There's a giant bird building a nest on the roof and it won't move. It's freaking me out. Can you get up there and get rid of it?"
As I headed outside to check on the source of his terror, I silently hoped this might turn out like the night I stayed up late before kids when he checked out for lunch on graveyard and I heard his boots thundering up the sidewalk at a lightning pace. He flung the door open and demanded I go rid the flower bed of a scary animal, one that he thought I was better equipped to deal with in my nightgown and no bra better than him in his kevlar vest, tactical pants with reinforced crotch panel, pepper spray, taser, and firearm. When I lifted the blinds, he pointed it out to me in the darkness with his thirty-five pound Maglite.
"That rock? That rock that's been there since we moved in? You're scared of a rock?"
"I thought it was like...I dunno...a skunk or a raccoon or something...shut up."
But since I love him I never said a word about it. Oh wait. Nevermind.
Back to the bird.
This giant scary bird was a mourning dove. It sat motionless as that rock in a messy nest in the crook above Clayton's room. No matter how close I got (out of curiosity alone) it didn't even twitch. After a little Googling, I broke the news to him.
We thought the dove never left the nest. But that's not true. It was actually the male sitting all day and the female taking the night watch. They mate for life, and you always see them sticking together. Always. They don't even hang out in flocks or anything. They just hang out with each other watching Netflix.
You guys. They are just like us. These doves are our spirit animals.
They don't even squawk or shit on all the patio furniture or act like those asshole killdeer. If he had said, "can you get rid of the killdeer?" I would have loaded up the hockey wagon with bricks and run over all their babies. Because they're loudmouth jerks.
The doves are staying. Until their one baby is born. And then I will clear their nesting material out. I'm fine with that. He's not fine with that. He wants to burn the house down now.