The title is pretty self-explanatory, but let me explain: I was attacked by a bird this morning. I walk out my front door, and a blue jay comes at me from my right. I get confused and think I somehow surprised it as it was flying near my door or something, but before I can even think that entire thought, it is flying at me from the front. At me, not above my head or away from me, but targeted in the direction of my face. I duck. I slightly stand, and its claws are in the back of my head. I hit, I yell, I duck and wave my arms frantically and look around and see it hovering for another attack. I’m still screaming and pleading it not to do more damage as I scurry into my car. When I shut the door, I am breathing hard. My heart is going mad. I look around for the bird, though I’m not sure why— it can’t get me where I am. I take the time to do what everyone in an emergency situation does: I send a group text to my family. First things first.
When I gather my wits a bit, I look for the nest and find it in a tree in the side of my front yard, a good ten yards from my front door. I was not anywhere close to being able to take that rabid terrifying thing’s squawking babies. So after some informed texts with my mom and brother and a concerned call from my dad— and, of course, the tears-streaming-down-the-face-in-laughter emoji text from my little sister— I text my supervisor about the incident and request that the bird’s nest be removed. She says she’ll send someone. I trust her but will have my umbrella ready the next time I exit my car just in case. The bird made it clear that this was no drill.
Sure enough, this afternoon when I have to pack both babies in the car, umbrella-ready, the birds take aim. I shake the bright red umbrella at them and yell some primal war cry as I buckle the babies into their car seats. I’m shaking. I have to do this three more times: get a baby out of the car with umbrella and war-cry; get the baby into the car with umbrella and war-cry; get both babies out of the car with umbrella and war-cry. The anxiety I feel is unmatched. I’m protecting my babies from birds protecting their babies. MUST WE ENGAGE IN SUCH NONSENSE?
Hours later, I can still feel the claw marks on the back of my head from the first attack. I’m not just imagining things. The bird really got me in the back of the head. I think about it, and I laugh really hard. I was attacked by a bird. It’s absurd. It’s bizarre. I was not prepared for anything like that to happen this morning when I stepped outside. But of course, when I stepped outside, something unpredictable like that did happen. It’s the exact type of surprise Life loves to give: an awakening to the fact that I have no control over Life; that I could never take into consideration all that could possibly happen; that the minute I assume I know how Life will go, it not-so-gently reminds me I don’t.
I’m still scared. I have no idea how long it will take for the nest to be removed (or if it can be removed at all, legally). Every time I leave my house, I feel like I’m entering into battle. For now, though, I’m safe inside my house with my two babies who are equally safe, and while I know I can’t control anything that will happen, I’d be content if Life just cooled it on the surprises for the time being. Lord knows we’ve had our fill today.