Peckers

"suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping,
rapping at my chamber door.
"’Tis some visitor," I muttered,
"tapping at my chamber door
Only this, and nothing more."  – Edgar Allen Poe

At 8:00 am this morning I rolled over in bed and realized I was late. The kids have a holiday from school and are with their dad so my usual morning alarm clock did not go off. The clock is about 4 feet tall, has brown hair and usually carries a stuffed bunny in his mouth as he climbs into my bed.

Lacking that four foot clock, I overslept but lucky for me the woodpecker that has been feasting on my house arrived around eight for his morning chow.

I cursed both myself for waking up late and the bird eating my cedar shingles. I showered and pondered what to do about the bird. Who should I call? How can I get high enough on the roof line to hang foil reflective objects, or a big snake or an owl? Do I have carpenter bees or ants in the shingles that the bird is feasting on or is he just partial to ugly blue painted cedar shingles?

As the firey hot shower water pelted my fair skin, I pondered my weekend and how much it resembled the annoying pecking of my feathered friend.

I attended a party with friends Saturday night. It was nice, I guess. It was a surprise 40th birthday party for two of my oldest friends. They are married. I was the maid of honor in their wedding. The wife was the matron of honor in mine. I am god mother to their oldest daughter. I ran into a few old friends and made some new ones.

Even with the DJ, my old friends, and the children present, I felt disconnected and lonely. As always, right on cue, my adoption trauma crept up from behind and took a seat next to me. It pecked at me randomly throughout the evening just like the bird has been doing on my house.

As I watched my 14 year old god daughter dance to Vanilla Ice and later to Sir Mix-A-Lot, the tears formed in my eyes. I could not help but miss my own daughter. I never got to see her be an energetic teenager. Was she a nice friendly kid like my god daughter is? Or was she withdrawn and shy and socially anxious? Did she like to dance? I believe she did. She told me she took dance lessons and liked swing dancing.

For a few moments, I tried to pretend that cute teenager with the braces and the dishwater blond hair was my daughter.  I wondered if my friend of nearly 30 years realizes how blessed she is to raise her daughter? To see her grow up? To see her boogie her little but across a dance floor?

Later in the evening, the grandmother of my god daughter approached me and inquired about my children and as expected, my daughter. I showed her pictures of my children. She commented that my oldest son looks like his dad (true), my youngest looks like my family (also true) and that my daughter is gorgeous (again, very true). She asked how our relationship is going. She DID not ask if we had met. We chatted a bit for a few minutes and I made a hasty exit. I knew, given more time, the additional questions would come. Like the cedar shingles being attacked by the woodpecker, I was too weak to fight back.

The party ended around ten and a group of us headed to a local bar to continue partying. I began talking with friends of friends and as always was asked “how many children do you have?” My girlfriend (the one who had written that one in her yearbook all those years ago) looked at me intently awaiting my answer. 

“I have three beautiful children.” I answered proudly.

And I do.

Three children and one annoying downy woodpecker.

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