Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Our two little birdies flew the nest. Amazingly, I saw them both leave. Big bird went first in the morning. His parents came by and tweeted repeatedly at him in a somewhat frantic way. The bird equivalent of shouting. He hopped up onto the basket edge and flapped his wings a few times in an apparent avian pre-flight check then when his parents flew off - he followed. On leaving the basket edge he dipped in the air for his first few wing flaps then soared off over our roof.
Wilbur tweeted in what seemed to be a forlorn way for quite some time. He hopped up onto the basket edge and back down into the basket several times, eventually he settled back into the basket nest for a nap. Still much smaller than his sibling he retained some of the white fluff poking out through his feathers giving him the appearance of out of control eyebrows. He stayed hidden from view all day.
Around sunset I heard the frantic tweeting again. There on the roof were the parent birds and there on the nest edge was Wilbur. The parents flew off. Wilbur stayed put.
They came back around calling again. This time he hopped up onto a branch and flapped his wings. I found I was holding my breath. His parents flew off he leaned forward and flapped then hung his head and hopped back into the nest. His parents didn't return and I wondered if he would be left behind. They came back after an eternity of twenty minutes. This time he flew. On leaving the nest he lost height and went rushing towards the ground. My gasp brought the children out of bed. Wilbur though, would have his Hollywood ending, he recovered a mere foot of the ground and flew off over the roof with his family. I never saw them again.
I felt sad, unrequited. Why leave the neighborhood? If we were good enough for a safe nesting place why not live here? I had loved the birdsong.
The parallels for my own young eventually leaving clanged like a giant bell in my head.
I take things personally. I have a big soft heart that is easily bruised. I need to start preparing now - it might take me a long time to be brave about the leap. I need to allow my little birdies every opportunity to be away from me, independent and vulnerable. I need to practice watching them fly away in preparation for the day they move their nest. At least they will come home for the holidays, right?