Last week, Lucy made a bird’s nest.
We had gathered items for it from nature during one of our morning walks, and later, she glued them to a rolled down paper sack. After it was dry, she placed it outside on our porch railing just in case some bird was in a pinch for a place on the quick, but after a while (i.e. approximately 45 seconds) there were no takers and Lucy became aware that caterpillars are frequently in need of a place to crash. And so the nest instead became a layover for larva. Lucy was pleased with this development. I watched her joyfully kidnap and fuss over her “guests,” rearranging leaves and providing them with tiny plastic treats she’d stolen from her Lalaloopsy dolls. And I thought about nests and nesting, nest eggs and the empty nest, killing two birds with one stone and what would happen to my little birds if the two that were killed happened to be Dave and me considering that we don’t have a third contact.
I know. What?
On Julia’s emergency form for school, they ask for three people to contact other than us in case of an emergency. The first is my mom. The second is my dad. The third is we don’t have a third. NO BIG DEAL, right? Right. It’s been this way since…pretty much always. Who needs a back-up for their back-up? Well, I’ve been thinking. Maybe, me. I started to consider it when I had shingles. Specifically, the point at which my fever reached its highest point and I was weaker and sicker than I ever remember being and both my mom and Dave were about an hour away, him to the north, her to the south and me in the middle with the girls sequestered in their bedroom – the only 100% child-proofed area of the house. I figured it was the safest place for us to be as I fought to stay conscious (you know, when I wasn’t vomiting). I couldn’t hold my cell phone, let alone my baby, and there wasn’t a single person I felt I could call.
Then, we watched Life As We Know It. This is pretty much the worst movie for parents EVER. I couldn’t sleep after that and so I pressed Dave to discuss our emergency plans, if by discuss our emergency plans I mean panic, cry, rend my garments and tear my hair because if we died in a car crash, there’s a very good chance my mom would be with us and then there would be no one to demand my kids from the custody of child protective services because they need to be with someone who cares about them, dammit – not strangers!
I may have made Dave solemnly swear to an agreement in which at least one person in the line of succession for guardianship of the children can’t be present with the rest, just in case. I think the President and Vice-President have an agreement like that. Or maybe I’m thinking of mafia bosses.
The fact is, when there isn’t even a third someone who could pick Julia up if she barfed in the cafeteria, I feel really lost when I think about who would pick up all three of my girls if Dave and I were gone. And my mom, too. Also my dad.
Okay, so maybe it’s not as dire as it seemed at 2 a.m.
Here’s what I’m curious about, though: If you are a parent, have you nominated a guardian for your children in your will? Do you have a back up? Do you have a will? Do you have a third contact?