Baby Birds

I sit and hear the peeping of five little birds in our birdhouse. Their peeping is continual, never breaking for a moment of rest. They are hungry, they need to be cared for, nurtured, in order to grow up and fly on their own wings off into the big, blue skies. Their peeping brings me such a sense of life. It makes me feel at peace, knowing these new lives have formed, right there under the tree in our garden. It's like a little peace of magic in te not so secret garden.

And then, as I hear the peeping gear up a notch, I look into a fluttering in the branches of the tree. There is mama bird, her beak filled with delicious bugs and worms to nurture her babies. She scuffles from branch to branch, on edge, worried about dangers that may expose her babes. She glances my direction, hops back to a higher branch, then decides it is safe and with a quick flip of her wings, she glides head first into her nest, bringing her growing babies a supply of food to help them grow. And just as quickly as she enters, I see her head at the opening of the birdhouse, her beak filled with feathers or droppings as she cleans her nest, makes the space for her babies safe, secure, and clean...and off she flies again, just as Papa bounds in to bring more food for his little ones. Usually Papa sits on the edge and reaches in, not going into the house, as his five babies reach up, beaks open wide, feathers just beginning to show on their meaty little bodies, all mouth, beady little eys. And then, after emptying his beak, he too is gone, just as mama reappears, reaping more goodness for her little ones.

I watch this go on throughout the day, and then into the evening. The parents have not a moment of rest. They are constantly on vigil, bringing home the bacon, raising their little ones to make it out in the grown up world of cats, electreic wires, cars. They never stop going, never stop working, never stop caring and nurturing and giving to their little nest of the future of the bird world.

And as I watch, I think about myself as a mother, all that I give, all that I do, all that I achieve, doing the same for my sons as this bird does for her own babies. I feed them, I clothe them, I clean for them, do their laundry, play, give cuddles, and kisses, and put bandaids on scratched knees. I hold their hands as we cross the street, I buckle their helmet under their chin, I bring a backpack of snacks wherever we go. I make picnic lunches and nourishing dinners. I wake them in the morning with a smile and tuck them in with a story, songs, and a kiss at night. I prepare their backpacks for school, write notes to teachers, pay the bills for their sporting activities, scouts, and camps. And I ride them to these activities, dropping them off and picking them up, running to get groceries in between. I shop for birthday gifts and wrap them up with a bow.

And I don't ever stop, not for a minute. I am first and foremost a mommy. All I do is with regards to my children. I am nurturing them, feeding them, socializing them, helping them on their path to make it in this big, full world. I am a bird. I will not give up until my last has left the nest. And then, and only then, can I fly, just for the pure enjoyment of the flight. Actually feel the sun on my wings, feel the breeze rustle my feathers...but now I am a mama bird. And though I have no freedom, I have a little nest of my own, and with each cleaning, each feeding, each moment of nurturing, my little brood is geting closer to fluttering on their own two wings. And that in itself gives me reason to take just one more flight, eyes taught and ready, as I pick up just one small worm to bring back to my nest.

1 comment:

Claudia said...

I have feeders all over my yard. Watching birds makes me feel good, smile. They are so intent on their plan, nothing sways them. Ever vigilant, always busy. I'd LIKE to be a bird, I'm more like a slug though. ;)