The evening was finally settling down in the Patterson home. But little did we know that full chaos was about to ensue.
Our children were actually asleep, for once, without any requests for water or pleading for an extra few minutes up. My husband Jason and I decided to take advantage of the moment, relaxing in our recliners to watch a television show that didn’t involve a princess or first responder puppy dogs.
Searching for a channel to watch, I thought I saw a shadow go across the light from our lamp cast upon the wall. Assuming it was probably a beetle or other bug trapped within the light fixture, I ignored it.
Then I saw Jason looking around as he was sitting in his recliner.
“I think there is a bird in the house,” he said, calmly.
I didn’t make a big deal out of it because birds have found their way into our house before.
But this was no bird…
“It’s a bat,” Jason shouted, jumping up from his seat.
As I turned my head toward the corner of the room where I continued to see shadows dancing on the wall, I saw it. It was a bat, and it was a bat with an impressive wing span.
“No, no, no…” I squealed as I jumped up from my recliner and ran towards our bedroom. “I can’t deal!!”
I felt like I was abandoning my husband to the frenzy of a rabies-infested creature of the night. But he was the man. They are supposed to handle spiders, possums and, yes, bats.
The French doors to our bedroom have glass panes in them so I was able to get a first-class seat to the action that was to unfold over the next half hour.
Jason grabbed a broom in an effort to coax the bat out of the house. He had no desire to hurt the bat, but he wanted to convince him that the open doors leading out of the house were his best path options.
It reminded me of that scene from the John Candy movie, “The Great Outdoors.” Jason made several attempts to push the bat out the house or at least in the direction of the open doors. But nothing was working.
It was almost like a scene from Top Gun with the bat swooping and diving around Jason as he tried to stay on his feet. One time, the bat even flew in between his legs, narrowly avoiding running into my closed bedroom door.
In the midst of the chaos, it was a beautiful moment for a minute. Not Jason dancing around the house with a broom. But the bat’s flight through our house almost resembled a ballet. His gentle movements would gracefully spin around corners. To be honest, it was quite impressive watching the winged creature in flight.
Jason began putting his hands on his knees, panting for breath, when the bat finally made his way outside the open front door.
The entire incident took about half an hour. The kids never woke up, thank goodness. Jason got quite a cardio workout from chasing the bat around the house waving a broom. And I got an up-close look at nature, safely behind closed doors.
Every afternoon when I come home for work, I inspect every corner and every dark space for any other bat who decides to pay the Patterson house a visit. I am sure they don’t intend to harm anyone, but it can be a pretty overwhelming experience considering all the folklore you are given about bats as a child.
But putting all those legends and myths aside, it was almost a neat experience. The bat really was mesmerizing with its flight pattern. And maybe he picked up a few bugs in our house before we discovered him.
The sun was slightly setting the other night when I returned home from the grocery store. Making my way up to our side porch, I looked up at the orange sky, moments before the sun retired for the evening.
And I saw a bat, diving and flying, picking up a few bugs for supper. I grinned as I made my way into our house. I admit, I closed the door quickly to ensure another visit wasn’t in order. But behind the kitchen curtain, I watched him for a few moments in flight.
And for a moment, his right wing titled in a certain way that resembled a wave. Maybe I am overthinking it, but for a brief second I waved back.