April 26, 2019

At least it wasn't a vampire!

One autumn evening a few days before Halloween our youngest daughter ran into my husband and my bedroom - screaming that there was a bat in her room.

We flew upstairs to the closed bedroom door and peeked in to see her sister cowering in the corner as this bat flew in circles, whooshing and emitting bat sounds, quite scary in an enclosed space. He followed the circling of the ceiling fan, around and around.

I am not afraid of bats and have met these flying creatures face-to-face a few other times.

One such occasion was along Lake Superior where my sister, her son, and I were going to stay at a family cabin for the weekend. We unpacked the car to the front of the cabin then opened the creaky door when a Yooper Bat, surely a vampire, flew directly at us. My sister’s feet did not touch the ground as she repacked the car, put her son in, rolled the windows up, and demanded we leave. “I never laughed so hard in my life!” the saying goes. I entered the cabin with a large pot over my head, as protection, and “saved” the weekend by ridding the building of this rather cute creature.

Back to our bat in the girl’s bedroom – my husband and I laid out the plan of attack. Being the “brave” one, I planned to enter the bedroom, rescue my other daughter, fairly new to America and our family … Welcome to America! And capture the bat – be the hero. Remember, I am not afraid of bats.

Gently pulling the door fully open allowing our daughter to escape, I panicked, shoved my husband into the room, slamming the door behind him. The girls screamed from horror as I held the door shut, holding my husband hostage to the bat.

In short order, he asked (begged) me to let him out – that he had captured the bat in a container.

He was the hero!

My idea – take the bat outside and release him. In our county, you should NOT do this as there is a high incidence of rabies in the local bat population - the health department informed us that if a child is woken up with a bat in their room, they have to assume the child has been bitten.

So, due to my uninformed decision our little girls were taken to the hospital where they endured, barely, painful rabies shots. Tears poured down their faces as we tried to comfort them during these assaults on their tender butts. One daughter had to be carried from the emergency room as the pain was debilitating to her. I was SO not the hero …

I’m known for reminding our children to make memories. As they share this story in the future, I’m positive they will not label me as their savior and hero. It took my husband to be one of those. But my negligence gave them a memory they will always have (can I be a pseudo hero for that?) I understand fully that the shots were painful, the experience frightening – but remembering it makes me smile, and grimace.

Camp outhouses, Marquette

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