tag teaming

The cardinals outside a downstairs window are working hard to feed three or four chicks nesting in the shelter of a large rhododendron. Rain comes down hard at times, and steady. I notice, out the window at the base of the stairs, that one of the chicks has flown the coop and sits puffed up like a ball of fuzz in the hydrangea awaiting its parents to feed it bits of food. The parents tag team, bright red father then brown mother with her day-glow orange beak. They seem to be trying to draw the chick from its perch, the little defenseless birdie with no tail to speak of.

Upstairs, and in Michael's absence, my lovely friend Lucretia minds my chick as he sleeps in my bed, dried vomit on his face and sleeves and on the towel I used to catch it. My robe is sour and stained, my hair tangled with the same pungent spit up. He puked up his seizure meds while in my arms not long after I gave them. I picked out the half-dissolved ones from the yellow, frothy, phlegmy goop, redosed them when he woke up and gave him an extra Clobazam just in case.

Lucretia arrived before eight. She hugged me and rubbed my back and brought me coffee and slept with Calvin and stripped the beds and made them up and hugged me some more and told me she could stay as long as I needed. I took a shower and put in a load of stinky laundry. We sat and ate warm oatmeal while Calvin recovered some in the jumper. My little bird still isn’t eating or drinking. The chicks outside are famished.

All parents work so goddamn hard
, I think, harder even when their kids are sick, some impossibly so. Thank goodness for the tag team. Thank goodness for Lucretia.

me and Lucretia

1 comment:

  1. where on earth did you find Lucretia? What a jewel! You are blessed to have her. Hang on tight!!