Thursday, June 17, 2010

Baby Robins

Yesterday was a very big day at my house. It was the last day of school for us, but I didn't get my traditional stepping-off-the-bus photos, or my after school hugs, or my rundown of all of the last day festivities. Both of my kids were at friends' houses with ice cream sundaes and lots of sprinkles, and I was home enjoying the last moment of quiet I will have until they go back in September.  Ah, the memories of quiet...

But then something exciting happened when I went to get the mail. The two baby robins in our front yard nest decided that yesterday was the day to try to fly for the first time. We have a number of nests in our yard every year, but I have never been lucky enough to witness this particular rite of passage. I was fascinated by the babies and their efforts to get back in the nest.

One actually got as far as an inner branch on the tall bush he called home before falling off and hopping onto my driveway.  He tried in vain to fly up and over the driveway wall and into the back yard.  Each effort had the same cadence - jump, flap, flap, flap faster, faster, fall down, jump, flap, stop and take a breath. Just watching him was wearing me out.

The other baby managed to fly out of the nest, into the front yard, then staggered across the road and into the neighbor's bushes across the street.  That one made my heart race. I was actually positioned at the end of my driveway, ready to stop any oncoming cars to give the robin a fighting chance. All the while, the mommy and daddy robin were close by, swooping right over my head anytime I got too close to their precious ones. We all had the same goal, but I can understand their confusion and inability to believe I was on their side. I don't, after all, look much like a robin.

This whole experience made me think of my own precious ones, celebrating their last day with ice cream and more toppings than mommy would ever allow. It also reminded me how hard it is to watch them struggle as they grow up, learning and failing and all of the good stuff in between. (I promise I won't go so far as to say that I'm watching them "learn to fly, too." That would be too embarrassing for all of us...)

It also made me wonder what they will remember from this time. If you read my last post, you know that I was weighing my actual memories of my childhood/teen years against the documented entries in my diaries.  I am sure that my memories and theirs will differ greatly. They will have memories of times that I will forget, and my favorite memories may not make an impression on them at all.

So what is my goal as we approach the long, lazy days of summer? I guess I hope that we have more good days than bad, that we giggle as much as we can, and that we take time to watch our baby robins grow up.

On another note, I have some unfinished business. As I hit "Publish Post" for my previous entry, I knew I would get some feedback from my Mother. And sure enough, I heard from her that very afternoon. So Mom, I did have a wonderful childhood.  Thank you for everything. And I hope that I can do the same for my kids, regardless of what they may write in their journals.

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