We’ve had a mama bird build a nest right above our front door this summer. Every time we’d leave the house, or upon arriving home, we’d peek up to examine the daily progress in this little nest.
About 3 weeks ago, one of the kids came in, exclaiming loudly, “the eggs have hatched, the eggs have hatched!” We gathered on the little front step, looking up to see the most adorable little beaks, gaping open and chirping away as they waited for mama bird to return with a little nourishment.
We continued to peek up and watch every day, and soon enough, the day came when it was my turn to have this baby!
The daily habit of checking their progress every day or so continued, and within a week or so, those little birdies were bulging right out of their nest. Their bodies extended out more than halfway, their gaping beaks still beckoning while they chirped away for their food. It didn’t seem like they could possibly fit there much longer.
Sure enough, as we were standing watching later that day, we watched the first of the four take off. He hovered close by-first remaining on the roof top right above the nest, then taking off for short flights, landing within eye shot of the nest. Soon the others followed.
For the next few days they were most often spotted just above the nest, proudly standing on the rooftop… while Mama bird continued to bring food by to her little brood, growing in their capabilities and independence.
All this bird-watching activity made my heart twinge a little…in its simple beauty, it had been such an observation of what has been going on in my own life this summer. I felt very present with the natural world going on around me.
My biggest girl had been gone for a month already, taking in a musical theater camp. At seventeen, this felt like a launching time for her- away from the nest, so to speak, even for just a short time. She’ll be back in a few days, but I know I was being prepared for the beginning of a new season. Between having my own little baby, and watching this mama bird tend to her little ones as they flew out, and came back, and hovered nearby for a time…my tender post-partum heart felt encouraged to watch these little ones grow, spread their wings and actually learn to fly.
Raising a family really does happen as fast as everyone says! I’m so glad I can still tuck in with my wee one, play with my little ones, love on my middle ones and cheer on my big ones as they take flight into the dreams they are ready to embrace. And I know this is only the beginning…