A few weeks ago, a pair of robins took up residence above a light on our front porch. They'd built the nest in the spring, but it had gone unoccupied for several weeks. I came close to batting it down before noticing it was inhabited. We watched each day as the Mom and Dad took turns tending the nest. We snuck pictures along with way and spotted 3 beautiful eggs under their careful watch. We became protective, too. Shoo-ing away the neighborhood cat, and fashioning some chicken wire across the porch, so no critters could jump onto the railing and have a swat at the nest. When the babies were born, we watched the parents swoop in at feeding time and heard the happy chatter among the family outside our door. It was exciting for all of us to watch.
It had been about two weeks since the babies hatched when we noticed they were getting mighty big. We knew they'd be fleeing the nest at any time. We snapped our final pictures on Sunday, and sure enough, come Monday morning they were off. I didn't get to see them off, but my heart sank when I opened the door and saw an empty nest where there had been so much activity just the day before. I was surprised by how choked up I felt.
Yeah, it was probably partly PMS, but I noticed some parallels between the bird family and my own life.
It's really been hectic around here this summer (hence the quiet blog). I'm busy running around with my preschooler, overseeing the neighbor kids who wander by, doing a little paid work, cooking meals, etc. I find myself thinking "omygosh, will preschool start up again already? I am so exhausted!" And my nest is changing too. The crib where my son slept when he was a baby is right by the front door where the birds' nest is set up, awaiting its new owners.
So when I saw the empty nest, I decided to hold off a few minutes on doing chores and showering. I sat with my son and held him, watching a video he'd been asking to see. And I kicked myself a little for wishing this away. Even though we've got a way to go, I know my nest, too, will be empty before I'm ready.