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B: Bird

Another excerpt from The ABCs of Pandemic Parenting, out soon.

Bird is a bit of a cheat, now isn’t Eric Carle? And the world thereof? Because later you’ll be more specific about types of birds, when you begin encountering the more difficult letters. 

The birds of Golden Gate Park seem to be having a glorious epidemic. Even before the virus there were coyotes. The coyotes infringed on the local feral cat population (infringed is a kind way of saying they ate them). The feral cat population was infringing on the local bird population. But now that the coyotes are widespread through the park the birds are having a renaissance. 

During the pandemic I’ve been in the park almost daily and often twice daily. To walk the then-baby, now-toddler. To walk myself into any sort of calm. To run the trails that criss-cross. To write at a picnic table under a tree until all the picnic tables were moved from that field because the coyote pups were close and the coyote mommas were threatened. To lay on the grass in the sun or the fog to meditate, to nap, to let my mind be quiet, away from the tether of a then-baby, now-toddler who is verbose and loathe to share my attention with anything. 

My daughter can identify more birds than I can already, thanks to our beloved Matthew; her sitter, her “manny,” her best friend that she sees weekly. Matthew is the fourth leg in our table. Without him, we wobble. He has taught her what a blue heron is and now she points them out to me daily. It used to just be crows. But now she knows robin red breasts, blue jays, seagulls. I just called them birds. Matthew taught her type. Three-legged tables can work but you can’t hunker in and lean your elbows on them. 


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