Sarah Simpson column: My clean house is definitely not for the birds

A while back, my husband and I took our kids to one of the local school playgrounds on the weekend because I needed them to stop messing up my clean house.

Judge me if you want. I can handle it. But in my defence, I had literally just spent a good amount of time cleaning the house so I felt like I was owed at least an hour of it looking like nobody lived there…even if I was forced to physically remove everyone from the house, myself included, to enjoy its cleanliness.

Anyway, we walked to the park for a play and it was one of those days when it had been raining, but then stopped and dried up a bit, but the field was wet and there were still puddles in the schoolyard’s dirt and gravel potholes. With weather like that, and the threat of more rain to come, it was really no surprise to me that a number of birds had gathered on the field, likely to seek some refuge from the stormy seaside.

It wasn’t our own school’s playground, it was another one, so there was lots to explore and keep busy with. My daughter instead opted to turn her back on the playground and look at the field full of birds. It wasn’t the flock of gulls my daughter fixated on. It was a curious crow that was lurking just on the outer edges of the playground.

As an aside, I seem to write a lot about birds:

SEE RELATED: A bird in the bush worth two in the stove?

SEE RELATED: Reunited and it feels so good

SEE RELATED: The birds and the beetles: family coinages live on

SEE RELATED: A one-in-a-million piece of good news

I would love to know what her thought process was when she decided she wanted to catch the crow and maybe have a talk with it. It’s either from my own life experience or perhaps just that I’m kind of a pessimist by nature, but I knew what the outcome of chasing the crow would be. I didn’t tell her that, though. It was more fun to watch her figure it out herself.

I stood and watched as my four-year-old slowly crept up on the animal. And with one quick move she snapped the bird right up into her arms!

OK, that didn’t happen, but what a story it would have been! Naturally, every time she got within a metre, the smart little crow jumped away a few metres and the game would start again. She refused to give up.

Now, my daughter it objectively bright. That’s not just my assessment, people tell me all the time that she’s a smart kid. I couldn’t help but wonder what made her keep trying? Is she just an eternal optimist or did she truly believe she stood a chance despite trying and failing dozens upon dozens of times? I don’t know. What really struck a chord with me is when her brother offered to help her. An active five, he’s not as graceful or as gentle in his approach so, again, they failed miserably. Over and over again. Except that they weren’t miserable at all.

The pair giggled and whispered back and forth, planning their strategies and the crow, to its credit, played along. I know it wasn’t entirely hopeless optimism because my son is wired more like me than his hopeful sister. In fact, I was surprised both that he opted to help her and that he hadn’t given up sooner. Maybe it’s not that they cared to catch the bird at all. Maybe it was just the thrill of the chase and the joy of being outdoors, together, playing on the soggy grass at a school that wasn’t their own?

A few days later I was out running errands with my daughter when she started following a bird across an empty parking lot. I couldn’t help but ask her if she truly thought she was going to catch it.

“Yes!” she said matter-of-factly. Then she paused and looked at the bird and added. “OK, I’m not sure, but wouldn’t it be cool!?”

So, I still don’t know if it’s her naiveté or just unbridled optimism, but far be it from me to hold her back.

Go ahead and catch the bird, kid. Just please don’t bring it back to my clean house.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

ColumnistComedy and Humour

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Second vehicle from Crofton Geo-Tech theft recovered

Supervisor at Crofton operation finds it parked at Chemainus campground

Drivesmart column: Regulatory vs advisory road signs

The regulatory sign must be obeyed exactly as it is read.

Alistair MacGregor column: Responding to the challenges of the COVID-19 global pandemic

This crisis has shown us just how many Canadians struggle every day to pay the bills

Duncan man asks community to donate RVs to essential workers in need of quarantine

Ryan Oakley creates a Facebook group to help coordinate the effort

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

World COVID-19 update: U.S. expects 100,000 deaths; Oregon declares disaster

Comprehensive update of world news for Sunday, March 19.

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

‘There is community’: B.C. councillor welcomes new baby into world amid COVID-19 pandemic

‘I realize there’s much more than fear and worry… there is hope, there is new life’: Jason Lum

Most Read