Fatherhood & Night Critters

Tuesday, October 01 2002

Our first night home with Leah was splendid. Except for me being insane.

It’s fully understandable that a new baby will wake up a few times in the night to feed, as Leah did. What’s not fully understandable is the strange dreams, or should I say, psychosis that two hour spans of sleep can produce in the night.

You see, there are these ‘possums that routinely walk the walls between houses in the neighborhood where Carrie and I are staying. It’s perfectly normal to wake up to the sound of a big boney ‘possum slowly making it’s way across the ivy covered wall next to our window at night.

What’s not perfectly normal is to think that all human beings have pets that they nurse off of even into adulthood, and that Carrie’s preferred “pet” is the very ‘possum creeping outside our window. Everyone knows that ’possums are ugly nasty things, and so when I heard that ’possum making it’s rounds, I froze. In my mind, that ‘possum was half way up the side of our bed, making it’s way towards Carrie, and if just held still enough, it would feed her, and be on it’s way. I was willing to accept it might crawl right over me, but as long as I held perfectly still I wouldn’t have to see it’s ugly boney face.

It took me about ten minutes before I realized that it was not reality, and that I was lucky I hadn’t thought to go nuts and exterminate the ’possum instead. No one needs to see my skinny white thighs in the middle of the night chasing a ’possum down the street screaming “Go away damn dirty ’possum. No one wants your foul milk!”