We had some new feathered friends move in a week or so ago. Momma-Peaches, Dixie, Darrel and Jethro made a cozy little nest in the Jessamine vine above our grill.
I carefully took a few peeks to see how the babies were growing.
A few days later I took some more look-sees.
These baby robins are really growing! Momma sure knows how to feed her young’uns.
So, today, about a week or so later, I wanted to make sure everyone was ok after the rainstorm we had last night. And what do I see? But Dixie all feathered out and perched on the side of the nest! She got me thinking about my own children and how they are leaving my nest. I thought to myself…this will be a great life analogy to share on the blog…learning to fly or drive…leaving the nest, graduating college, so on and so on. Oh, it was going to be a happy, thoughtful post about loving and letting go.
Watching these babies grow has been fun for not only me, but Thomas too. It’s so cool to see God’s handiwork up close.
So, like I was saying, today it looked like Dixie was ready to take her first flight. I just had to take one more picture. I climbed back up the ladder, when all of a sudden, birds came flying out of nowhere!
I about fell off the ladder.
Cardinals and Robins were flapping and squawking! (Please ignore the pile of overgrown carrots I pulled two days ago and have yet to dispose of them. Geez.)
The alarm had gone off in the area that Momma-Peaches’ babies were being threatened!
My shadow, Sam, got all excited in the ruckus and snagged Dixie when she landed on the ground. I was screaming at the dog to let the bird go, (which she did immediately), birds are still chattering away….it was crazy.Dixie was fluttering her wings as I grabbed Sam to put her inside.
I sat and watched as Momma Peaches flew in to check on her baby.
She would see me somehow, (ya think that maybe the color of my shirt stood out just a little?) and fly away.
So I kinda, sorta hid behind the bushes. I could still see her up on the hill surveying the scene.
Jethro and Darrel were still in the nest chirping away, which she could hear, but it seemed almost as if she didn’t know which child to help. Oh, goodness.
I sat there. I waited. I tried to be as still as I could. I really wanted to watch Dixie spread her wings and take flight. But, the longer I waited, I noticed some large black birds flying overhead. They made me nervous for Dixie, so I decided to put her back in the nest. I’ve read that, contrary to popular belief, a momma bird will not reject her baby if the baby has been handled by a human. I went to Dixie.
And this is what I found. Poor Dixie. I feel awful. I know I caused her to fly out of nest maybe before she was ready. I know that Sam may have broken her neck.
I feel awful.
So today’s post may not actually be about what I originally thought.
Or is it?
Just like Momma Peaches raising her young’uns, I, too, have done the same. I know I’m not quite through, but I feel like I’m on the tail end of this season. Momma Peaches and I have worked hard preparing safe homes for our children, cooking or finding healthy food and loving our babes every second. I’ve been careful to protect my children from poisons, accidents and pain. Peaches had her nest smartly hidden in the vines and kept a watchful eye on anyone who might harm her kids.
And yet, even after all we do as parents to raise our children to be healthy, skillful, wise, God loving creatures, there is no guarantee that they will live forever. No matter how tight the seatbelt or snugly fit the helmet or heart-to-heart discussions we have on safety issues with our children…accidents and worse….tragedy happens. As parents, we do the absolute best that we know how, but in the end, we have to let our children go. They are not ours to keep. We must let them go in complete faith that God will protect them.
My baby graduated from college this past weekend. As much as I would love to keep her safely hidden in my nest, I know I must let her fly. There are lots of bad things that she might encounter in this big world, (like overly enthusiastic humans who wear bright green shirts and big dumb goofy dogs), but there are also wonderful, exciting, brilliant, loving experiences and people who will make her life richer.
It is time to go, Mary Claire, and live! Take a leap of faith, jump into new opportunities, love with all your heart, trust your Father in Heaven to guide your steps. Momma Mary loves you!