Crazy for eagles

Eagles have become quite a part of our household. Nelson loves them. It all started with the live eagle cam broadcast from Decorah, Iowa.

Nelson’s teacher pulled up the live cam several times in class last year. The children got to watch three eagles born and fledged. Amazing. Free, no charge, priceless experience. However, it’s been a costly adventure around here.

Nine. Yes. Nine stuffed eagles have come to adorn our home in the last year. (Secretly pleased after taking this inventory, I first feared it was around 17.) Do you know how hard it is even to FIND a stuffed eagle? Very. So if we ever come upon one in a store, it’s like winning the lotto. Yes, we’ve won the lotto nine times in one year.

Variety. The eagles come in many varieties, every one of them with a feature that makes its purchase mandatory. One may excel in an open-wing pose in such a way that it brings Nelson to his knees with appreciation. Another might have just the right beak, yellow and curved to perfection, and Nelson will shout with disbelief that someone, somewhere, with a needle and a thread, actually looked at an eagle before designing one.

Colors. We’ve got brown, black and gray eagles. (I can concede to the brown/black debate, but gray?) We even found one eagle with a very fuzzy white head, like a “Joe Dirt” eagle. When I found Nelson trimming its head one day in the bathroom, I screamed, Did we not buy that eagle because of the mullet? “Mom, he’s gotta be bald to be a bald eagle.” Small, pint-sized reasoning. “Carry on,” I said.

Viewing. We missed school to see an eagle release in Harbor Springs. Totally worth it. However, I’d like to note quietly that I probably wouldn’t have given myself permission to miss a day of work, drive 200 miles and hang out in a snowy field with a bunch of writers. I like to remind myself on days like this that it’s enjoyable to be The Crazy Mom now and again.

After the release, as I sat in the minivan and brought my frozen feet back to life, I had one of those out-of-body experiences where I looked down at my vehicle, wedged sideways on a packed-down snow bank, with two ecstatic boys in Hawaiian shirts (the day had a vacation feel to it, hence the warm weather wardrobe) in the backseat and an eagle now a speck in the sky and thought, What am I doing?

The viewings don’t stop there. We are constantly on the lookout for eagles. We’ve canoed to eagles, skied to eagles, hiked to eagles and camped for eagles. We’re driving the eagle industry single-handedly in Michigan right now. This summer we may take the campaign west and scout out the “Golden Eagle.” Note: You cannot find a stuffed toy“Golden Eagle,” as far as I can tell. This, I realize, is my million-dollar idea waiting to happen.

Gloves. Likewise, you cannot find a pair of raptor gloves to fit a child. Who knew? Nelson wanted a pair of leather gloves that rehabilitators use when handling raptors. So, about midnight Christmas Eve, my husband and I were stenciling eagles onto a pair of extra, extra-small, elbow-length garden gloves. (Million-dollar idea No. 2.)

Names. They are all named Eagley.

Even though I say it’s Nelson who loves eagles, Momma, too, has caught the fever. Do not get caught standing between me and a YouTube video of rare footage of an eagle swimming in a river, ever.

Ok now your turn – what obsessions have your kids developed?

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