The Empty Nest

It happened quickly and caught me off guard. I heard a peck, peck, peck at the back
The tapping sound made it impossible to enjoy a nap, so I looked over to see what was
happening. A bird had somehow torn through our window screen and was working hard
to build a nest inside of our windowsill. I was angry at first because my nap was ruined
and so was my screen, but I marveled at the mother bird’s efficiency and determination as
she made a large nest.
At first, my wife and I saw a huge nest but no sign of inhabitants.
Then nature’s process began. The mother bird began visiting the nest more often and then
she just stayed there. She settled in and laid some eggs. We tried our hardest to spot the
eggs without disturbing the Mama Bird, but we couldn’t. We wondered if the miracle of
birth was going to take place, but we couldn’t find proof. The nest was very large and we
had difficulty seeing deep inside of it.
Finally, one day there was a flurry of activity. Thump, thump, thump against the window.
Mother Bird flew outside the screen and back in, out, in and so on. Then my wife heard
the tiny peeps. Our household had some new inhabitants, right inside of our window sill.
We watched Mother Bird come back with tiny specks of food and marveled at the little
beaks opening for their first meal. We watched with deep interest and were amazed to see
three little heads cry out each time Mama bird took off. The fuzzy little wrens were
adorable, and we claimed them as our own.
Each day we watched the little birds grow a little bigger and we heard them get a lot
louder. The process was beautiful and we had an up close and personal seat for nature at
its best. You might say we had “A Bird’s Eye View”.
We grew attached to the birds and talked to them daily. We had some new friends and we
loved it. Then in the blink of an eye, they were ready to leave. One by one each little bird
hopped to the end of our window sill and after much hesitation, they took off for their
first flight into a big new world. They were ready to leave. It was time for them to move
to the next phase of life. Once they took off, I immediately missed and worried about
Ironically, around the same time, my daughter graduated from college, was offered a job
as a full time third grade teacher and signed a new lease for her apartment. Mother Nature
had given us an empty nest in our window sill and Father Time had given us an empty
nest in our lives as parents.
Like the baby birds our daughter is moving on to her next phase in life.
We knew the birds wouldn’t stay forever. We also knew that our daughter had to spread
her wings and fly off as well. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t miss her.
When someone you love leaves it hurts and it’s hard. It’s a part of life that parents dread
the most. Now we have an empty nest in our window sill and in our hearts.
We knew the day was coming, but it’s not easy to prepare for. All you can do is keep
moving forward courageously in life and hope that your children visit the nest you’ve
made for them often!

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