Are y’all sick of hearing about my baby birds yet? Well, you won’t be hearing about them for much longer. They have left me–one by one. I am officially and literally suffering from empty nest syndrome. Hope y’all are feeling sad for me.
This morning I got up and checked on my little babies. One was already gone. The other three were perched carefully on the edge of the nest. The next thing I know, a second one hopped over the side of the nest and onto the vine below. He was proudly hopping around the vine and looking back toward his siblings urging them to join him. Mama and Daddy weren’t too far away. In the distance, I could see and hear them calling out encouragement to their babies…C’mon kids! You can do it! Mama and Daddy were flying back and forth to the vine checking on their fledglings. Before I knew it, baby two had flown the coop! He was pretty wobbly looking, but he made it safely away to the vine on the front of the house. And then he was gone.
And then there were two. Two little birdies, perched on the edge of the nest, looking down. They seemed a little more hesitant than their siblings. They took turns hopping out of the nest and exploring the vine and then quickly going back to the safety of their nest. Finally, they were out for good. I noticed one of them seemed to have a little bedhead. I’ve nicknamed him “Spike”. Mama and Daddy came back to check on the kids. Daddy was hiding from my prying eyes deep in the vine. But I saw him there. He flew away and then here came Mama. Back and forth. For a long time, the remaining two birds were hopping around in the vine, pecking at the leaves, flapping their downy wings and getting their footing. And then, suddenly, the third baby was off, leaving one poor lonely birdie–my little Spike. Spike sat there for the longest time. I would walk away and come back to see if he had gone. I could hear his lonely “cheep cheep”. But there he stayed. In the same spot on the vine. I imagined him having some sort of inner dialogue like…”I’m gonna go…NOW. No wait…NOW. Okay, I’m really gonna do it this time. GO.”
The rest of his family was nowhere to be found. He was on his own. And now finally, I see that he is gone too.
It’s kind of quiet sitting here at the computer now. For the last week or so I’ve been enjoying the happy chirping of my babies whenever their mama would bring them something delicious to eat. Now it’s just silent. Kinda sad, really. No, I guess bittersweet is a better word to describe it. It all happened so fast. And all they have left me is their poop to clean up off the porch. Well, that and the joy of having experienced their presence. God’s creation is really something.