November 27, 2004

An heron.

My brother-in-law is a crafty fellow. He is ever so crafty, so when my sister and him learned that they were expecting, they wanted to break the news to my parents in a crafty way. My parents are lovely folk, but craftsmen they are not. Often Tyler will perform an Amazing Feat of Mental Agility and it will be completely lost on them. This is to no fault of their own, of course, as they aren’t used to dealing with crafty underlings. Whenever one combines Tyler’s feats with my parents, however, the result is often humorous.

An example would have been during my sister’s wedding ceremony, when Tyler asked for the bride’s parents’ approval for the marriage, and my parents completely forgot the script and just sat there staring at him. There was an awkward five second pause, after which my mother and father suddenly popped up and hurriedly spoke their lines.

But it was too late. The priest laughed, my sister doubled over laughing, the whole congregation burst into laughter. It was such a classic Petersen moment that you can’t help but smile looking back on it.

So, when it became apparent that Greta and Tyler were going to have a bundle of something-or-another arriving next summer, they wanted to break it to my parents in a clever way. Since they live a mere 250 miles from the folks (compared to my 1,700 miles), G&T were able to cook something up and play it on my parents over Thanksgiving.

So. They got my parents some Christmas ornaments for Thanksgiving presents, and told them that these would be some especially appropriate ornaments to put on the tree this year. The ornaments were storks, and since babies are not dug out of the ground or grown in vats of goo but delivered to households via stork, one would reasonably conclude that my parents, upon receiving these ornaments, would realize that the stork may be paying a visit to my sister and brother-in-law.

Well. My mother opened the gift and thanked G&T for giving them such beautiful ornaments of great blue herons. We have great blue herons all the time at the cabin! How wonderful it is that we will have great blue herons on our Christmas tree this year!

Herons. Great blue herons. Soon enough the misconception was cleared up and everyone understood what was going on, but now my curiosity has been piqued. What if their baby does indeed arrive via great blue heron? What sort of child would a great blue heron bring? Would it be a girl? A boy?

Whatever it is, all I hope is that it doesn’t have tentacles. I’m okay with a girl or a boy, but man, if that kid has tentacles, I’m going to have a real tough time being uncle.