“I’m telling you, call for armadillo extermination right now. What else can we do?”
I absolutely love my sister, but lately she was really starting to wear on me, and on my family. Since her ugly divorce three years ago (which I applauded, by the way), she was relying on me to take care of her. Not financially, but, let’s just say married couples have “Honey Do” lists. She gives me “Bro Do’s.” She never really developed enough self confidence or self-reliance to handle big household tasks. So, I found myself doing things like fixing her garage door, trimming trees, moving furniture or fixing plumbing for her. She and her ex-husband had bought a nice house with a huge lawn when they got married, with dreams of filling it with children and having a safe, beautiful yard for them to play in. Unfortunately, he was not the dream husband she thought he was. They never ended up with children and he ended up with a girl he’d dated back in high school. I was now stuck with taking care of that huge yard and it was getting tiresome.
My wife, my beautiful, understanding and compassionate wife, encouraged me to help my sister in the beginning. She realized my sister was going through a very difficult time, and she wasn’t really equipped to handle it alone. So, while I took care of yard work and was my sister’s handyman, my wife spent hours on the phone with my sister listening to her troubles and helping her as best she could.
Now, after three years, I was feeling like an “enabler,” as I stood on her porch looking over her yard and talking about armadillo extermination.
“Just look what it did to my beautiful bird bath, the one I bought on my trip to Reno!” she was saying. The armadillo had dug several shallow holes all throughout the yard, including right next to the chintzy bird bath my sister had fallen in love with. The armadillo’s hole caused the bird bath to tip over and break, which prompted my sister’s early-morning phone call to my cell phone on a beautiful Saturday morning. I had planned on sleeping in. Oh, well.
“I’m not even sure there’s an armadillo extermination company,” I said. “I think they just trap armadillos and get rid of them.”
“Well, I honestly don’t care what they do with the armadillo. I just want them to get rid of it for me! Will you set it up?”
I sighed. Three years. It was time to help my sister get the confidence she needed to handle problems like armadillos digging in her yard all by herself. I looked up the number for armadillo extermination, which was an armadillo trapping service, dialed it, and handed her the phone. She tried to give me the phone back, panicking, but I smiled and said, “You talk to them, just tell them about the armadillo holes and the bird bath. They’ll know how to help you.” Baby steps, I thought.