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Raccoons and Construction Workers
Mom with a View

Raccoons and Construction Workers

There is always something or someone over my head.


There are constant noises over my head. By day, it’s the construction workers ripping apart and (hopefully) putting my roof back together again. By night, it’s the raccoons scurrying (actually more like lumbering; they are not light of foot) across the flat rooftop growling and scratching and reappearing outside my glass bedroom door. It’s a stand-off as we stare at each other – but I’m not only the one who blinks first. I scream.

The roofers, on the other hand, pose no such terror (despite my friend’s unforgettable remodeling story that involved a worker falling through the bathroom ceiling during her husband’s morning shave!). They are just very noisy – pounding and banging, drilling, sawing and hammering. With the radio blaring in the background…

It’s wreaking havoc on my ear drums but that’s not the worst of it. I feel like my property has been invaded. I feel a little insecure and vulnerable. There is always something or someone on top of me.

Yes, you got it. That’s my light bulb moment. Because of course there always is! The workers will (eventually) leave. If that spray we have is any good (You won’t believe how often I send my husband outside to spray just one more time!) the raccoons will also depart.

But the Almighty, the Creator of the world is always here. He’s watching my actions. He’s listening to my words. No wonder I feel vulnerable – and insecure. My actions don’t always reflect the goals I set for myself. Words and ideas I’m not proud of slip through my guarded lips. He’s watching. He’s listening. He’s over my head! I may not wear a kippa (Is that why I need a broken roof and raccoons?) but I know He’s there.

And yet, unlike my nocturnal visitors who greatly increase my anxiety, who contribute in no small way to my sense of vulnerability and insecurity, that should not be my relationship with the Almighty.

Although His Omnipresence should affect my deeds and shape my speech, fear is not the appropriate reaction. Instead of feeling insecure, I should feel safe, cherished, and loved. The Almighty wants me to succeed. He has my best interests at heart. He is my loudest cheerleader.

Remembering that He is over my head is a tool for behavioral change but it’s also an opportunity to focus on being take care of, watched over, protected.

I’ve chosen to use my experience with the raccoons as an opportunity to learn an important spiritual lesson (please God, since I’m trying so hard to learn please don’t send them back!) and I’m attempting to do the same with the daytime construction noise.

Everything in this world is an opportunity for growth, a chance to reconnect with and deepen our relationship with the Almighty. Even construction workers and raccoons…

March 5, 2016

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Visitor Comments: 4

(3) dan ebert, March 10, 2016 7:22 PM


They are also creatures put there by Hashem, so be kind to them

(2) Tova Saul, March 10, 2016 3:56 PM

Nice article except for.....

.......raccoons do not attack people. They are just looking for food. They are gorgeous, adorable, and fascinating. Not a metaphor for scary things in life.

Since humans have made a hell on earth for animals, it's important that we write about them in a way that improves, not worsens, our attitude toward them.

NT, March 11, 2016 5:18 PM

Animals and People

animals are Hashem's creations - beautiful and all. as long as they don't show up at my door - thank you! I had 3 raccoons jump at me when I took the garbage out at night. Yes, they may be gorgeous, adorable and fascination as you say - and they are. But not on my property especially a glass bedroom door.

(1) Nancy, March 9, 2016 8:20 PM

It's good to see that you struggle just like the rest of us do!

Dear Emuna Braverman,
Please don't get me wrong. Those raccoons and all of that banging must be incredibly challenging. However, sometimes it is comforting to know that even an aish contributor deals with obstacles in life! :-)

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