There’s a Bird in Here!

We’re 26 days into this whole marriage thing, and I’d say (from my perspective anyway) so far so good.

A bird flew into our home two evenings ago– right through our wide-open front door. We were in our kitchen, making dinner in the midst of a conversation that at the time seemed important but since has escaped me. (that’s not to say that it wasn’t important– just to say that things often escape me.) Both our front and back doors were open, as the evening was beautiful. I said to my husband “there’s a bird in here!” as it landed onto some bird-friendly surface high in our kitchen. He had missed the bird’s entrance and thought I was speaking metaphorically– he looked at me perplexed until the bird flew across the kitchen fluttering close to his head. (As he recounted it later, he used sound effects, rolling his tongue to mimick the sound of the flapping wings in close proximity to his ears).

Immediately he flew into crisis management mode– directing me to keep the cat out of the kitchen as he began trying to “catch” the bird (who flew to a new space each time he neared it). I went with the cat to have a conversation with her and let her know that birds are OUTSIDE toys while my husband continued to chase the bird. I’m just gonna say this for those of you who may not know– birds are HARD to catch. I closed the cat in another part of the house and went back into the kitchen to lend assistance and was immediately shooed away. I went back to keep the cat company behind a closed door.

I stood behind the door listening to my husband in the other room following the bird around and seemingly just missing each time he came near it. I imagined his big, strong hands, and the tiny bird one one hundredth of his size. I felt the terror of the tiny feathered creature, and I called out to him: “baby? can I help?” Instinctively he answered “no! stay where you are!” and then after a beat replied more thoughtfully, “well, sure.”

I opened the door and went into the living room where the bird had most recently landed– it was in a tiny little nook desperately trying to escape and hide. I started talking to the sweet winged creature. My husband stood in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room watching us. I let the bird know that it was okay to be scared– and agreed with it that our house was a really strange place to land. As I talked to it I cleared a little space around it and reached down and stroked its tiny body. It flew up and careened over to another part of our living room. I followed it again continuing to talk to it. I let it know it was safe and gently cupped my hands around it and picked it up. It’s tiny little head poked out between my thumbs. I felt its relief at being held and captive. I brought it to our rhododendron bush just outside our front door and opened my hands. It quickly fluttered away and out into the Portland evening.

I came back into the house and my husband smiled at me and gave me a high five. We reflected on our awesome teamwork. There was an assumed default of roles that we moved into when the bird flew into our house– and we quickly realized without conflict or chaos that we were ill-suited for those assumed roles. He began making fun of himself chasing after the bird and we both had a good laugh at our own expense.

I don’t know why that tiny winged creature flew into our home on Tuesday evening. Birds are considered by some to be a symbol of freedom and perspective. They are said to be a “messenger of the Gods” because they have the ability to move between the earth and the heavens. Science has proven that birds can see and feel magnetic fields, maybe our house has a particularly strong one. I don’t know the reason for our unexpected visitor, but I appreciate the perspective the tiny creature allowed us.

Our winged visitor was incredibly affirming of our partnership and our ability to be fluid with our roles in any situation. My husband’s immediate impulse to “defend” our home was perfect– as was mine– upon reflection to re-direct and help the tiny creature. He didn’t get mad at me for “stealing his thunder” and helping the bird, nor did I take it personally that his immediate reaction was to shoo me away and “handle the situation.” Had the bird been vicious and attacking (and you just never know) he would have been the man for the job. As it was, it was confused and scared and happy for a calming, friendly voice.

A bird in the house is not some huge test of our relationship but rather a lovely analogy for who we are and how we exist in our space together. As we move forward in our life as a married couple we are beginning to flesh out what our home is in this new paradigm. There is no doubt that we are greater than the sum of our parts. As we sift through the chaos of the wedding and build our space anew we allow an order and structure to unfold that did not exist before. Our partnership is in and of itself an entity more powerful than we are capable of imagining– with a magnetic force so strong it draws in tiny flying creatures.

 

Lists really are a magical thing

We’re officially one week out with a re-vamped menu and everything’s coming up ROSES!!

That planning brain of mine is really working for me. My partner’s cousin after reading my last blog post suggested that we do a taco bar for the wedding– and I am taking that idea and RUNNING WITH IT. One thing I observed about myself today is that I like having puzzles to solve. Another (that I’ve known for a very long time) is that I am extremely motivated by deadlines. (Not unlike most other human beings).

Getting down to the wire– these days are packed full. Here’s the run-down of my wedding-related accomplishments on this day just seven days and counting:

  • Woke up and realized my body needed to take a Pilates class.
  • RE-REinvented the wedding menu after a great suggestion from a soon-to-be family member.
  • Listened to my body and TOOK CARE OF MYSELF (i.e. went to Pilates). [SLOW CLAP]
  • Came home and took my maid of honor to get her dress altered.
  • Somehow convinced my partner without any threats or coercion to go with me to his most favorite place on a Saturday, Costco.
  • Bought and priced wedding related items and inched ever closer to feeling totally on top of it in terms of this wedding. (Lists really are a magical thing).
  • Took more steps towards KEEPING IT SIMPLE. (So hard for me to do)…
  • Met with one of my dear friends to strategize the next week as it relates to our nuptials, and gave her 10 lbs of chicken to cook for me. (talk about some delegating)
  • Realized that I’ve actually got it together so much more than I knew when this day began and all I was aware of was my back hurting.
  • Had a very important meeting with my flower girl and tasked her with finding the perfect basket for her flower petals. (She’s already got one in mind).
  • Decided, along with said flower girl, what type of flower petals that basket of hers was going to have. (cherry blossoms)
  • Went out on a date with my man.
  • Ordered serving trays and cupcake storage containers that will make me very popular in certain (as of yet undefined) circles.
  • Got one day closer to marrying my most favorite person on the planet.

That about says it all. My exhaustion is real and my planning brain is currently not interfacing well with my writing brain– and my dreaming brain is doing its best to take over for the both of them…

 

I’m talking REAL PLANS, not just Visions

So, at this point I’m going to say that we’re getting down to the wire– and I am definitely feeling stressed. 10 days and counting, and I find myself trying to find time in between time to pack in the much needed organization of my time (and all the other stuff that needs organizing). And then there’s just my regular life that is continuing on as if it had no idea that I’m getting married in ten days– the nerve.

This morning as I was in the midst of juggling my life, sitting in the orthododontist’s office with my daughter while writing a general to do list for the wedding, I was called to send a “help me!” text to a friend.

“Hi. Can I ask you for your help in a general sense? I don’t have specifics yet– but I know that I need help…”

His response came a few minutes later, “Of course. I’m always happy to help…”

Massive sigh of relief. Wasn’t that easy? Just knowing that someone out there who I trust and love is willing to help me is enough to ease my anxiety.┬áNext I sent a text to my assistant asking for help more specifically in brainstorming the blessingway. Another quick and affirmative response, and I was feeling downright un-anxious.

Here are the wedding related things I accomplished today: (bear with me– this is actually incredibly helpful for my sweet little wedding-addled brain)

  • Made a list of wedding things that need to be done (I know this seems like something I probably should have done weeks or maybe even months ago– but let’s stay positive and just say “good job, Mandy” for doing it at all. Everyone’s gotta start somewhere.
  • Reached out and asked for help from TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE. (Never mind that one of them is someone I actually pay to help me– bringing that up right now seems almost like rubbing salt in the wound, and that’s not a positive thing to do)
  • Concretely planned my blessingway (I’m talking real plans, not just visions), I actually wrote stuff down.
  • Made the invitation for my blessingway– just a few more email addresses and that baby is going OUT INTO THE WORLD!!
  • Filled out the online application for our marriage license (in doing so finally nailed down in my head how to spell the word license– ACCOMPLISHMENT)
  • Planned a trip with my husband-to-be to procure said license tomorrow morning.
  • Set up a meeting with my awesome friend who is “always happy to help” for tomorrow afternoon.
  • What’s that you say? How could there possibly be more bullet points? You’re right. I’m stretching it at this point– but really– today was a turning point.

I’ve always been a deadline oriented type of gal. There’s something about that ticking clock that actually makes me begin to take things seriously. Tomorrow we’re into single digits with the days. That is NOT MESSING AROUND. This wedding is HAPPENING SOON. And it doesn’t really get much more DIY than this.

My lesson for the day, quoted from my dear, always happy to help friend,

“You may be over emphasizing the y in that concept. It’s the royal y.”

So, here’s to the DIroyalY, may it make the next ten days ever easier.