Updated: Feb 15
I’m sitting in here in my mama-bear chair, and I noticed an industrious Mama Robin carrying a huge worm into the nest that is embedded in the shrub right outside of my window. And then, sure enough, a big beak emerges attached to a speckled, hairy avian creature. The worm was almost as big as the baby, but not quite. And like a snake swallowing a weasel, the bird managed to gulp this thing down. You could almost see its digestive cavity undulating its massive breakfast. Amazing.
And I’m thinking about that Mama Robin.
Seriously, Mama Robin, how do you do it? While you are feeding those little ones of yours, do you ever wonder when you’ll feed yourself? Or how you’ll plan for them leaving the nest? Are you going to be sad about the lack of worms that you need to bring in? Or are you just going to be relieved?
Is there a time when you would just like to clean up the nest? And are you having a leaving the nest party for your daughter Robin and all 2 million of her friends? Will you be renting a pavilion? Will you be making the food yourself? And do you need to hire a caller for the English country ball dancing?
And when it is all over, will you just cry for the relief of it? Will the tiniest bird in the nest be so neglected by this leaving the nest party that she just wants to be held and rocked? And then wake up in the night crying? Will Daddy bird be so neglected of information that he had no idea that guests were coming from out of town to stay at the nest? Did you remember to thank him when he took care of all of the details of getting the car towed when it broke down on the way to the party carrying all of the food? Did you spend too much on food? Did you forget to invite someone? Did you thank people for showing up who never did come? yeah, me too.
And are you feeling guilty for being relieved that it is over? Are you feeling guilty that you may not even miss the daughter Robin when she goes to Europe this summer? Of course, you’ll miss her, but not the chaos. Not the hurricane. The last-minute yellow sheets into dresses.. the party decorations from one end of the house to the other, the late-night Pinterest searches, the constant giggle sessions with her friends as they parse out the details.. the lack of food in the fridge!
And I don’t know about you, Mama Robin, but I have found that getting up before my teenage robins is the only time of the day when I can think. I know you get up before me, even, because you are out there doing work when I’m just having some time with the Creator of all worms. But I am finding that now that the dust has settled, I am thinking a tad clearer now. I’ll never be as focused as you are, Mama Robin. But I am so encouraged by you. You do what needs to be done with such grace and poise. You sleep soundly at night. You keep short accounts with other birds. You pay your bills on time. And you do it with a happy spirit.
And we will both miss our daughter birds when they leave the nest, even on a temporary adventure to Europe. And we both know that we wouldn’t trade the chaos of raising a daughter for 10 extra sons because in raising a daughter, we have, in some measure, reproduced ourselves. Her success is our success. Her beauty is our beauty. Nope. I wouldn’t change a thing. In fact, I better go now, Mama Robin, I need to collect some worms!