Unfortunate Change of Subject

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.

20140515-131703.jpgI carefully took a few peeks to see how the babies were growing.

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20140515-131832.jpgA few days later I took some more look-sees.

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20140515-131929.jpgThese baby robins are really growing! Momma sure knows how to feed her young’uns.

20140515-132027.jpgSo, 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.

20140515-132534.jpgWatching these babies grow has been fun for not only me, but Thomas too. It’s so cool to see God’s handiwork up close.

20140515-132713.jpgSo, 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!

20140515-132904.jpgI about fell off the ladder.

20140515-133044.jpgCardinals 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.)

20140515-133216.jpgThe alarm had gone off in the area that Momma-Peaches’ babies were being threatened!

20140515-133342.jpgMy 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.

20140515-133716.jpgI sat and watched as Momma Peaches flew in to check on her baby.

20140515-133802.jpgShe would see me somehow, (ya think that maybe the color of my shirt stood out just a little?) and fly away.

20140515-133906.jpgSo I kinda, sorta hid behind the bushes. I could still see her up on the hill surveying the scene.

20140515-134014.jpgJethro 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.

20140515-135655.jpgI 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.

20140515-140216.jpg 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.

20140515-140513.jpgSo 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.

20140515-142622.jpgMy 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.

20140515-143135.jpgIt 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!

It’s Gonna Be Alright

20130823-121149.jpgMany of my friends are being diagnosed with the “Empty Chair Syndrome”. You all know what it is….you’ve set the table every night for 18 years, in my case for five people, and now all of a sudden, you have one less chair to set for. We just spent the last year experiencing “this will be the last….” fill in the blank….soccer game, first day of school, school lunch packed. You get the idea.

20130823-122835.jpgI remember when I dropped this pretty young thing off at the College of Charleston three years ago. There was so much going on before the big move-in day, that by the time we’re hauling boxes up I was too stressed and tired to be sad. It didn’t hit me until a week or so later, when I was driving to a cross country meet being held at a school I had not been to before. Mary Claire had run for the high school team for four years, so I was accustomed to arriving around 4:45. This particular day I thought I was running a bit behind for Adam’s race. It took longer than expected at the sub shop and I went a couple of miles down the wrong road. My heart started to race and I could feel the dam beginning to break. I was trying so hard to be at the meet before 5:00 when the girls raced. Then it dawned on me….Mary Claire wasn’t racing! She wasn’t even there! She was in Charleston! Whaaaaaaa!

I was crying so hard I could barely see. At a stoplight, a kind gentleman pulled up beside me, rolled down his window and asked if I was alright. I sputtered out that I was just fine! Whaaaaa!

This past weekend we took two kids off to college. (Which you can read about here.) Again, like it was three years ago, it was a very busy time getting ready for the move. But this time I am more excited for them than I am sad. I know that Superman and I did the best we knew how to raise them. There is still lots of growing up to do, but that is one of the benefits of going away to college. I am confident that they will make mistakes and do things they wish they hadn’t. Luckily, they are doing it in a relatively safe environment and still have a loving home to regroup in if need be.

20130823-125146.jpgNow that Thomas doesn’t get home from cross country practice until 5:45, I found myself in my craft room. I saw these pretty papers and was inspired to make some cards for my friends going through the empty chair syndrome.

20130823-125332.jpgSome of my friends just sent their first off and others sent their last. I’m sure we are all having the same mixed emotions of joy and sadness.

20130823-125545.jpgHopefully, if these sweet mommas are having a bad day, they will be uplifted with some kind words in a pretty card.

Is there someone you know who could use a hug, a smile or kind words of encouragement? It will mean so much to them….do it. Call them, text them or send a card.

Thanks for dropping by!

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