Charlie has been working feverishly on the house all weekend. Partly because he wants to get the work done, and partly to please me. (Thank you, hubby!) While the girls were napping this afternoon, he set to work repairing the walls in the master bathroom. I could tell he wanted to work alone for awhile, so I decided to tackle cleaning out the laundry room. The floor was overcome with dog fur and the catch-all closet wasn’t in any shape to catch much of anything besides said fur and the occasional lost shoe. I was pulling things out of the closet and sorting them and had just laid my hand on Emma’s backpack. As I pulled it aside a piercing noise came from either inside her bag or just behind it. I pulled my hand back quickly. The sound was familiar but I couldn’t quite place it. I nudged the backpack again–shriek! Okay, the noise was a life noise. A mouse? A bird? One more nudge–SHRIEK! I slammed the door shut and ran out of the room. It was all coming back to me in a flood: this was the sound of a bat.
It seems like our marriage has a lot of bat stories to it. When we were dating, I was living in and running a bed and breakfast. One day, while cleaning one of the bathrooms, I pulled the shower curtain aside to discover a giant bat hanging from the inside liner. I shrieked (of course) and ran out of the room. I called Charlie and asked him to come over. He did and then promptly watched from the safe distance of across the rather lengthy hall as I used a broom to swat the bat down and into a cardboard box. I then threw the box out onto the front lawn and ran inside, shivering and scolding my soon-to-be husband for not wrangling the nocturnal creature out of the house for me. He said it was funny to watch me throw the box into the air and run into the house. I didn’t laugh.
Charlie’s dislike of bats comes honestly. Growing up, he was a member of the quintessential young, American boy group–the Boy Scouts. One summer, on a camping trip, they went spelunking. On the list of supplies: three sources of light. Charlie packed one flashlight and several packages of batteries, thinking himself to be very clever. While trekking through a cave, they were told the cave was home to bats. Halfway through the hike, Charlie’s flashlight dimmed and then went out altogether. After changing batteries, he realized the light bulb had gone out! Not long after, the bats began swooping and diving, trying to figure out what this strange creature was stumbling in the dark. And so, my husband’s intense dislike of the winged creatures was birthed.
Not long after we purchased our home, we had another run in with a bat. This time, Charlie rallied to the occasion and chased it out of the house with nothing less than a broom. Another time, he cornered a bat in the living room and with the help of our friend Josh, managed to swat it to the ground with a cookie sheet. They scooped it up and flung it to the street. Very macho. Once, I got up in the night to go downstairs for a drink and noticed a familiar fluttering shadow. I raced back to bed, dove under the covers and begged Charlie to find the bat before it found it’s way into the girls’ room. We spent about an hour searching the house before he knocked it out with his trusty tennis racket.
Today, Charlie used yet another broom in his dance with the bat. He eventually chased the bat into one of the girls’ umbrellas and I ran to another room as I saw his arm raise over the umbrella, hammer in hand. I’ll spare you the details, but, suffice it to say, Charlie was a bit more violent in his disposal of this particular creepy flyer. It may have been gruesome and we may have had to sacrifice an umbrella, but I have respect for my husband’s willingness to protect hearth and home from the invasion of these nocturnal beasts. And that, friends, is why I will call him: The Bat Warrior.
Thank You, God, for my awesome husband! Bless him now and always, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.