I know I said I didn’t want to get too anthropomorphic about the birds, but I am really identifying with Mama Finch these days. I wrote last week about the newly hatched baby finches. They were just a little pile of grey fluff that developed five little beaks whenever Mama or Papa Finch approached with food. Initially Mama was spending a lot of time sitting on the nest covering and protecting her brood.
One week later the kids have no use for Mama in the nest except to keep bringing in the food. They have grown so fast that they are almost as big as their mother. The downy grey fluff has been replaced by real feathers. Today they were stacked in the nest and looking like cheerleaders forming a pyramid. Two formed the base, then two sat on top of them and one sat crowning the middle. Poor Mama is relegated to a nearby branch.
My children are laughing at my empathy for Mama Finch. One of my fledglings has already left the nest and another is perched on the edge ready to take flight next fall. The other two are preparing for take off and will be on their way all too soon. I know that it will mean more room in the closets, no fighting for computer time, and far fewer shoes in the front hallway. Like Mama Finch, I will soon have my nest back. But I really don’t want my nest back. I don’t mind waiting for my turn on the computer (as long as they are doing schoolwork and not playing Warcraft!) if it means having their smiles and hugs nearby.
Yet just like the finches, my kids will find it is time to fly. The good news is I think they will always know how to find their way back to the nest. Godspeed to the fledglings, both Mama Finch’s and mine.