What It Means To Let Them Fly

Being a mother bird must be terrifying. First, she has to collect lots of nesting materials, one piece at a time. Twigs are collected to give shape to the nest.  Softer materials are then added to give the nest comfort. Sometimes a bird will collect leaves or feathers and mix it with their own saliva to bind it together.  I have seen birds also collect bits of moss or even fur.  One time our dog was napping in some grass, and I noticed a bird repeatedly flying within a dangerous distance for the purpose of collecting molted fur from our pet.  Of course this gave the bird a very comfy nest lining indeed.

The bird has to choose the location of its nest wisely. If it is too precarious, it risks being blown to the ground or to smithereens during a heavy wind.  Some nests are very high up in the air.  This is what amazes me for the mother bird must realize it is from this high level that she has to coerce her little ones to take a death-defying leap to learn how to fly.

Once Mother Bird has exhausted herself building the nest, she must lay the eggs then sit on them until they hatch.  She must stay there to protect them and keep them warm denying herself food unless her mate feeds her. If she were to move, a predatory bird or animal could eat the eggs or push them out of the nest.

I have become like a mother bird to my own mother, taking a reverse in roles, especially since her heart attack. It is hard to see her become more frail and dependent on others for her care.  I have begun to oversee her doctor visits, medications and care.  She has not always been so cooperative.  She always has been a very self-sufficient person. I don’t want to take this away from her and am doing everything I can to help her get back to a fairly normal, independent life again.  However, like Mother Bird, I must coax her slowly and gently until she is stronger and can fly again.

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