Sunday, June 21, 2015

For the Love of a Boy...and a Bird

Yesterday something weird happened at our house.  Weirder than normal.

As we were all out playing in the pool a bright green tropical bird landed in our backyard.  It perched right on the edge of our roof.  Then it took off and flew around the yard. Then it nearly landed on my lap.  Then it flew inside our house.

Clearly this was someone's pet.  A pet lovebird.

Once inside our house Brian managed to catch it and put it in our guest bathroom.  I put out a Facebook message to our neighborhood group and Brian went door to door looking for the owners.

Our kids started asking immediately, "Can we keep it? Can we keep it?" JoJo was especially excited about the bird.  He kept trying to sneak in the house and take peaks into the bathroom.

No, this wasn't our bird.  It obviously belonged to someone else.  And we didn't need a bird. Really, we didn't need a bird.

But as the day dragged on, no owners came forward.  We couldn't just keep the bird locked in our bathroom.  We found a few people who said they would take the bird, but none that could come straight over and pick it up.

So Brian headed over to the local Pet-a-rama and picked up a cage and some food.  It was starting to look like we were going to keep the bird.

Brian got home and we tucked the bird into its new cage and we all sat around staring at it.

Then one of those magical parenting moments happened. Sweet little JoJo, who hadn't taken his eyes off the bird for a second started to sing it a lullaby.  OMGoodness.  The tenderness in his little voice got me all misty-eyed.  And then.....he asked if he could say a prayer for the birdie.  Ahhhhh.  It was almost as if a little halo was lighting up over his head.  He sang in his froggy little JoJo voice:

"God our father, God our father, we thank you, we thank you, for our many blessings, for our many blessings, Amen, Amen."

Too too precious.

And then 2 hours later the bird was dead.

Oh yes, dead as a door nail (whatever the heck a door nail is). Apparently the stress of living in the wild, or encountering my family, or who knows what were just too much for this little birdie. Luckily, by then all the kids except for Grace, were asleep.  Grace was disappointed, but she's a little scientist.  Brian disposed of dead bird and then we started to panic. What would we tell the rest of the kids???  What would we tell JoJo?  He would be crushed.

At about 7:30am JoJo arrived in my bedroom.  "Where's the bird?  Where's the bird?"  Brian was out exercising.  I told JoJo the bird got very sick and had to go home to his Mama and Daddy.  JoJo seemed completely good with that explanation.  But right away he asked, "When is another birdie coming?"  Oh, boy!

Brian got home and of course the bird issue had been weighing heavily on him while he walked. JoJo and Brian have a very special bond.  Something about JoJo really pulls at Daddy's heartstrings.  And JoJo had responded to this bird in a way that we hadn't seen him respond to much else in the world.

I mean people, he was praying for the bird.

So Brian decided to forgo his special Father's Day festivities.  He didn't go out for a fancy meal.  He didn't spend the day laying around on the couch.  He didn't splurge on anything for himself.

He went out and found his baby boy a new bird. We named him Mango Bolingo.

Mango, a strange fruit name that Grace just picked for no apparent reason, and Bolingo, the Lingala word for love.

That is the love of a really special father for his son.

Oh, my heart. I love these guys.

**Luckily, as it turns out, lovebirds are pretty inexpensive.  I was sort of freaking out about the cost of cage and bird, but Brian said it was about the same as a trip or two to Chik-fil-a.  So it's all relative.  A 20 pack of chicken nuggets or a bird to keep.

Happy Father's Day!
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