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Baby Birds, A Post for Mothers

May 12, 2017

A robin has nested in our back patio eaves. The nest is just out of reach. We see it from underneath. Observing her coming and going. Building and sitting.

 

  

Sunday morning we noticed her land in the nest with a worm.

 

This is new.

 

When she left again, Jason slipped his camera up there. Sure enough, three brand new hatchlings! I am thrilled that we have this rare glimpse into something so magical. I have been overcome with Mama Bird's raw, instinctive drive to Mother.

 

 

The opinion among my three Littles is that "baby birds are GROSS!" 

 

That's a hard point to argue. They are pretty gross. Translucent skin. Giant, bulging, unopened eyes. Wobbly necks and useless, naked wings.

 

And yet I can't look away.

 

Neither can Mama Bird.

 

 

And here's the thing. Motherhood is gross.

 

Trading your favorite perfume for Eu de Breastmilk. Snotty noses wiped on your shirt. Cradle cap and diaper blow-outs and I poo poo'ed in the potty. Picked scabs and laundry and LAUNDRY.

  

I've said don't eat that! and begged please eat this.

 

I've scraped crusted banana off the floor and fished poop out of the bathtub.

 

And yet I can't look away.

 

There's magic in the gross. My raw, instinctive drive to feed them and hold them. To keep them safe and warm.

 

  

As we leave the baby and toddler stages in our rear view, my Littles have started expressing Big Emotions. Anger. Jealousy. Longing for independence and fearing exclusion.

 

Quinn has told us she is different. Her heart is not like everyone else. She has feelings she can't find words for. 

 

It's a bit magic, this new desire to articulate their feelings. And it's a bit gross. This week I've been told You ruin everything and I don't love you anymore.

 

 

And still, it is there. That raw, instinctive drive. To wrap my wings around my nestlings. To help them understand those feelings. Help them cope and communicate.

 

Soon, feathers will cover the baby birds. Their eyes will open, and they'll find use for their wings.

 

Someday my own babies with spread their wings. Already I am overcome by love. I'll only fall deeper each day.

 

Certainly Mama Bird feels the same way about her own pink wrinkled nestlings.

 

 

We have much ahead. New bikes and new friends. Lunch boxes and spelling tests. Lost teeth and lost friends. Perhaps sports try outs. Or band or choir or math club or Running Start.

 

Spreading their wings.

  

I hope I am here for it. That my doctors continue to successfully manage my inflammatory breast cancer. That the strains on my heart are more figurative than literal.

 

That I live every gross and magical moment of it.

 

 

Happy Mother's Day, Mama Birds.

  

Visit us on Instagram for videos of Mama Bird building her nest and feeding her hatchlings.

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