Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pecking At My Reflection

When we bought a house in the city, we certainly didn't think we'd get Butterball's corporate offices in our back yard. But, hey, I guess they gotta gobble somewhere. Did you know turkeys hang out in trees? Waaaaay up in trees ... and they don't like it if you play basketball beneath them. They issue a warning that sounds like my 86-year-old grandfather battling his reflux after a nice, big Thanksgiving dinner. Also, turkeys swoop. And they are MASSIVE when they spread their wings, like a nightmarish pterodactyl ... guaranteed to take a few years off your life. But all in all they're pretty harmless, as long as you don't cross a pumped up male during mating season. Then you better get out the carving knife and some cranberry sauce ... cause it's you or him.

It cracks me up when one literally comes knocking at our door. At first my boys wanted to open the door, and even I considered it for a crazy moment, before I remembered… turkeys can be mean. We realized the ol' bird didn’t want to visit with us, he was merely pecking at his reflection in the glass… probably in aggression or possibly in frustration that the “other” turkey wasn’t responding to him. THAT I understand. There are times I have BEEN this turkey—pecking and pecking at my reflection—with no results or meaningful connection; nothing to show at all for my efforts except a massive headache.  
I’ll explain. 
I have twin sons. One is just like me… barring the obvious difference in our genders of course. Other than that, we’re the same. We think the same; we vice the same; we move through life the same. Our hearts are forever on our sleeves; we want to please. Words affect us more than others. We’re sensitive, dammit.  
We’ve got each other’s back with a loyalty that’s rock solid. I tell you, I’ve got a diehard champion in that one. He has my heart but he drives me up-a-wall-and-down-the-other-side bonkers. He’s stubborn, like me, and no more so than when we clash. We can crash against each other like waves against a rocky shore. When I see him impulsively making the same mistakes I made as a child I want to scream at him to STOP. And I usually do. And he screams right back. We’re too alike to communicate effectively at these times, and we often end up at loggerheads.  
During these episodes, I might as well be banging my head against my image in the thick glass door. In fact, that’s eactly what my husband tells me when he steps in and takes over, pulling me out of the ring kicking and screaming. “Give it up,” he’ll calmly suggest. “You’re just pecking at your reflection.” 
Did he just call me a turkey? 
He should talk, he’s got his own little doppelganger. My other son is my husband’s Mini-Me. He is the spitting image of him inside and out. And as we’ve already learned the hard way, that can make for some incredibly frustrating struggles in communication. After an especially exasperating evening of locking horns with his diabolical double, I might find my husband pacing in his office: 
“My dearest wife,” he’ll say to me. “Oh how I love you, but I must leave you now and jump head-first through this third floor window. Remember me well.” 
“Fret not, my love,” I’ll say as I tug on his ankles and yank him back onto the hardwood floor where he slumps in defeat. “I got this one.” 
And I do. For this child and I connect so easily. We exist on an even plane together … smooth sands … level trekking. Easy, breezy, beautiful. He and I … we’re like butter. 
I find it so ironic that I gave birth to identical twins and yet they are each spot-on the personality of a different parent. To remain sane, my husband and I created a sort of parenting tag team to accommodate those differing dispositions. We relieve each other at crucial moments to make sure we’re never banging our heads against the glass door for too long.
We’ll leave that to the turkeys.