baby birds and how about ’em?

Posted: April 29, 2009 in r-flection!#
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

dustLast week, I had the misfortune of working in a dusty old warehouse, dealing with dusty boxes, looking through dusty papers, breathing in dusty air.

Did I mention there was a lot of dust? Because there was. Everywhere. Dust.

Being continually exposed to such depressing surroundings has a way of bringing you down. As if having to worry about contracting emphysema wasn’t bad enough, I had to stare at a deluge of dilapidated documents the entire time and nothing else. Bo-ring.

So why am I bothering to mention such a mundane moment? Well, one day amidst the dreary doldrums of that dingy dungeon I happened to come across a little baby bird nestled in the corner of the ceiling. I could barely see its head peering over the nest. This little dude was tiny. He would come to be my source of entertainment for the next few days . . .

The warehouse I was in had two huge entrances on the sides of it. I would constantly see his mother fly in and out, each time bringing in an insect or some gummy bears, or whatever the hell baby birds eat. She most have flown in and out hundreds of times while I was there. Never stopping for a rest.

gummy-bearsNature is amazing, I love it. There’s something about seeing a mother bird feed its child that gets me every time. Sure, you can watch the nature channel and see it, but being there and having an up close view of it happening is a totally different experience. Kinda like porn and sex.

Anyways, I always got the heads up that it was chow time because as soon as the mom came close that little bird would start chirping it’s freaking head off. I would immediately look up and just stare in awe. Then I had one of those strange moments where something seemingly innocuous triggers a distant memory.

All of a sudden I flashbacked to when I was about seven years old. I was sitting in front of the television when a McDonalds commercial came on, advertising its Happy Meal and the latest toy that came inside. Hats off to the marketing team over there at Micky D’s because I immediately went to my mom demanding one! Chop chop! On the double!! I need that toy now!

Needless to say, a seven year old’s requests aren’t so easily fulfilled. But I was a persistent (read:nagging) child and kept asking. My mother replied, “I don’t have enough money right now to buy you a Happy Meal. Not only that but it’s going to rain soon.” I could see the dark clouds looming overhead, this was a problem considering we’d have to walk to McDonalds since my mother didn’t own a car. (In fact, she’s only driven twice in her entire life. One of those times we got pulled over by the police in what would be a ‘low speed chase’. But that’s a story for another time.)

coinjarI insisted that it wasn’t going to rain. Impossible! And we did have enough money, I just know it! I don’t recall exactly what my tactics where, but they were convincing enough that my wish was granted. I was getting my Happy Meal.

I soon realized my mom was right, we didn’t have enough. She had to break into her little jar of change, from whence she proceeded to pick out quarters and dimes. I slowly felt more and more guilty with each coin she counted. The feelings went away once we started walking towards the golden arches.

Well, turns out Happy Meals were more expensive than we thought because when it was time to pay my mother didn’t have enough. Pretty embarrassing. Much more for her than me, a seven year old. Somehow, someway, I walked out of there with some chicken nuggets, fries, drink, and most importantly, a toy.

My joy would only last as far as it took us to walk out of the parking lot though as it immediately started raining. Pouring, I should say since by the time we made it home (~10 mins later), my food was entirely soggy and drenched. Wasted.

My mother didn’t say anything. Not one, “I told you so” or “you see?” In fact, she just went about her day. Meanwhile, I felt like complete poop. Looking back now, the toy was hardly worth the headache.

babybird1I was taken back to that day by watching that baby bird being fed by its mom. Not knowing, or caring, where the nourishment comes as long as it comes. The little bird just opens its mouth and poof there it is. He doesn’t quite realize how hard his mother works incessantly throughout the day for that poof to happen.

I doubt my mother remembers any of this, nor did I really until that day. Now that I remember, I will never ever forget.

I know it’s early, but this has been my Mother’s Day story. Call your mom tonight and tell her how awesome she is.

One last note: I know I’ve griped about Valentine’s Day in the past, but I have a similar beef with Mother’s Day (and well most holidays of the ilk.) There are millions of people who only do nice things, only give gifts, only say ‘I love you’, only give flowers to their partners on Valentine’s Day. Well that and their birthday. Doesn’t that seem a bit too contrived and fake? Almost forced? Like your partner has to give you something on that day and doesn’t bother to do anything ‘out of the ordinary’ nice any other time? It’s like they’re just doing it for the sake of getting it done.

I say fuck that. Make it Valentine’s Day every day. Make it Mother’s Day every day. Take a moment out every day to celebrate those you love. Do something special for them. And don’t do it expecting anything in return. Do it knowing you’ll make the world a happier place.

  1. sweetiegirlz says:

    awww this is such a great post! You’re totally right about the gift giving thing too. I just wish more otto “men” knew this. I’m waiting awhile longer to try and seek out bird nests around here to take pictures of. I already have seen baby bunnies under my neighbor’s shed. They come out every once in awhile but they never go far from the shelter of that shed!

  2. Selma says:

    I would have loved to have seen that little bubba bird. I totally appreciate the sentiment expressed here. You are a sweetie!

  3. Melissa says:

    I think I love you.

  4. jruthkelly says:

    you have a way with words, weaving the raw with the “dusty dull” and then the deeper stuff of soul…beautiful you. and i’m w/you. forget the holidays…these things have more meaning when they are not manipulated. of course, i do holidays too. they do seem to provide a measure of “practice” for what can be everyday possibility. besides, the kids can only take so much “merry humbug” from their mom!

  5. leakelley says:

    I am usually prepared to chuckle when I read your posts.
    This time, I put on my get ready to giggle face and was delightfully surprised by the authenticly touching story and found a new—different kind of respect for you.
    Thanks, Otto. You are not just made up of funny bones, you also got a heart.

  6. determinednspoken says:

    Great post!! I love it!

  7. sly0208 says:

    KUDOS! Great post and great sentiments!

  8. Joy says:

    I’m with Melissa, I think I love you. I loved this post and loved that you realized your mom did her best. Even though she knew it was going to rain, she took you for your toy.

    I love watching birds and all nature eat and play. It’s a favorite pastime of mine. I’m so glad I came here today because I’m leaving happier than I was when I stopped by. Thank you.

  9. dmwright says:

    What a good son you are. Great message, too 🙂

  10. Susi Spice says:

    oh you are good ottomann… look at all these girls falling at your feet, you just know all the right things to say…

    Well I wont fall for it until i see some proof of this niceness you alude to…

    Words are but air until you make your actions um.. hm… *looking for thesaurus….8 mins later* bare!

    by the way i think my ring size is an H or an I on that finger… haha j/k 😛


  11. Sammanthia says:

    Great post! And I totally agree… I think I’m calling tomorrow “Sam Day”. For realz.;)

  12. annieepoetry says:

    Tweet. Give me Gummy bears.

    I liked the intro to this. dust…

  13. chloë says:

    hey otto man, i think dogs are cooler than cats too 🙂
    i once watched two seagulls mate, lol, it was interesting haha

  14. fayezie says:

    ha ha! i share the exact philosophy about valentine’s day. i don’t want my sweetheart to bring me a flower or whatever else just because of the social pressure of “you don’t want to be the guy/gal who didn’t celebrate valentine’s day….” i am so down with “fu*k that”…. as a result, back in march I sent my sweetheart a gift from Red Envelop, just out of the blue, now talk about sweet and more memorable! He loved it, and I was delighted to do something sweet for the sake of love and being sweet rather than because it’s obligated by a date on the calendar.

  15. fayezie says:

    Oh, my curiosity–> what were you looking for in the dusty boxes?

  16. Magpie says:

    this is good.

  17. gigidiaz says:

    Ok come here for a laugh and I end up having to swallow a big fucking knot in my throat. Fucker. I love this story. I can think of so many instances like these where I wanted something, in Cuba especially, and my parents would go out of their way, money or not, to satisfy me, while I never gave much thought to the sacrifices they made. Most kids usually don’t, and it takes a little bird, or a blog about a little bird to make us realize how much our parents do for us when we’re kids.

    Thanks for being my little bird!
    I’m going to hug my mom now, even if we end up fighting about it later =0)


  18. Not Ruairi says:

    That was incredibly sweet. I thought I was going to type something about my dust allergies and now I’m going to go now and give my mom a hug.

  19. mynooch says:

    I think Otto is in denial that the OTTOWoW was sued by SHAMWoW..

  20. This was an awesome post! (This is V and I am back haha)…See I say what you said in the post, EVERY DAY, tell the ones you love them and appreciate them everyday. When I got sick I really understood what that meant. None of us are promised a tomorrow–so be happy and love everyday! Great post!! Made me smile and made me think!

    Btw–I love watching birds…I have tons of trees outside of my apartment and one in particular is almost against my kitchen window, I love watching the birds moving in and out of that tree…it always makes me smile!

  21. Tony says:

    We had baby birds in our warehouse rooof last spring, the parents flying around kept setting off the security alarm outside work hours. One day the assistant manager got up there and killed all the babies. I was so pissed & angry at him for a long time after that….
    I love birds but not in cages.

  22. B says:

    but then you are expecting something in return, surely?

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