May 23, 2011

Thoughts On Flight . . .

It’s not often that I let my kids jump up from the grind that is afterschool homework.  I’m more of a suffer-through-and-just-get-it-done kind of mom. But there was an occasion that warranted it last week and I happened to capture it with my camera.

It all began with the baby standing at the window, begging like he always does to go out in the “backard”.  It was rainy, wet and muddy out and I’d already told him we had to stay inside. He wailed and moaned and made me feel like a lame mom.

Then he started on about the “tweet tweet”. Don’t get me wrong, I love it when the baby talks.  But at this particular moment I was trying to quiz RedDog for a spelling test and check off Hannie B’s reading log, so I ignored his insistent pleas.  Finally he practically shouted, “Birdie!  Baby!” and with that, the other kids were up from their chairs and looking out the window to see this:

I know it probably looks like any other bird to you. But we knew, after weeks of observation, that this little fellow {or lady?} was one of the three baby birds from a nest in our holly tree.  And we also knew that he had just left the nest for the first time the very same morning. 

He stood on the edge of our deck with trepidation and fear. I swear, his little bird legs were shaking.  When the we first started watching him he was on the back of that bench in the picture.  It took him almost five minutes to make the gigantic leap from the bench to the edge of the deck. It was obvious that this little feathered friend was a brand spankin’ new flier.

The kids sat at the window chanting, “Birdie, Birdie!”  Even Owlie was cheering him on.  It was such a pep rally, I was just sure he could do it.  And then I spotted his Robin momma across the grass, watching him just like we were. And as crazy as this may sound, I swear I felt a motherly bond with that bird mom for a second.

How many times have I sat at the edge of my seat watching my own children attempt something for the first time, wanting so badly to take their tiny hands and help them accomplish the task, knowing that it would be so much easier – so much less scary - for them if I intervened?  And yet how many times have I felt the assurance that if I waited and watched, their instinct would kick in, they would know what to do and take flight with the satisfaction in the end that they were able to do it by themselves?

In a few weeks, I will put my first-born on a plane to fly across the country by himself.  I am up nights about it.  But this little flying lesson I got to watch is helping me to reshift my thinking.

Our little bird friend finally got the courage to take the great leap.  We watched him for almost twenty-five minutes.  It was grand.  It made my kids so happy and it was a great reminder to me of how to mother my own children. 

Now whenever Owlie goes to the window, he starts asking over and over, “Birdie, Birdie, where go?” Excellent.


Aiketa said...

I love when I see mama and papa animal taking care of their little ones.
Yesterday my mom told me that she found a little bird on our garden, that had fallen from the nest. My father that morning saw its parents move the little bird to a place where they thought it was save for the birdie. What a lovely scene.

The Queen Vee said...

I love this "Tweet" story and the lessons learned. As mother's our goal and efforts are to raise our baby birds and then send them off into the world as prepared and nourished as possible. We watch them fly off with pride, hope, some sadness and trepidation. Then we wait, praying for their success and hoping that they will return back to the nest's the cycle of life.

The Queen Vee said...

I had to set up a whole new google account this morning as I got locked out of my old one. I was in Google jail for and hour and a half.

MelancholySmile said...

Is that Hannie B in that picture? She looks so much older!! When did that happen?

I love these spontaneous moments of learning that tear us away from daily life for a little while. Stories like these remind me that everything-- EVERYTHING-- in life testify of Christ.

Kernal Ken said...

My dear, you are a writer par excellence! I think that if you were the Prisoner of Zenda, you would find a new topic of interest in your small, drab cell each day. Congratulations on all the great posts!

Apis Melliflora said...

Those backyard birdies have always been excellent teachers...or rather, you've been an excellent student!