Sunday, May 17, 2009

Our Mockingbird Family

In the front of our house, we have a line of bushes that covers the front windows and a tree that grows near the front porch. Towards the upper part of the tree is a nest that was built four years ago by a pair of mockingbirds and each year they return and lay their eggs. Once the babies are old enough to leave the nest but not yet ready to fly, they use the bushes in the front of the house as a good place to hide and move around. It is something we look forward to each year. My cats love it when the little baby birds are in the bushes because it gives them something to stare at and I think imagine a tasty buffet as they are looking through the windows.

Anyway, this year is no exception and the pair has layed their eggs and they have hatched within the last week and a half. When we are outside, we like to watch the adult mockingbirds feeding their young and listening to the babies as they anxiously await their yummy array of bugs. The adult mockingbirds seem used to us and they will sometimes land in front of us to nab a beetle or bug in the driveway.

Yesterday, my son left with his friends and went to Stone Mountain and my daughter was entertaining herself with games on my computer. I decided to walk outside as I could hear the distant rumble of thunder.

In the distance was an omnious group of storm clouds and the wind had picked up outside. I sat in my driveway watching the adult mockingbirds taking turns catching bugs in the front yard and feeding their young. I love listening to the baby birds and am amazed at how often the adult birds are flying away and coming back to feed their young.

Once it started sprinkling I moved to the front porch to watch the baby birds and see if I could count how many were in the nest. The best I can see is five baby mockingbirds. The adult mockingbirds did not seem bothered that I was on the porch and continued their routine of catching the bugs and feeding the babies.

The storm clouds moved in quickly and it started pouring rain. I watched as one of the adult mockingbirds flew to the nest and carefully covered the little babies to shield them from the hard pouring rain.

I stayed on the porch for awhile and got to thinking about how special it is to be able to witness this protection and love from a mockingbird to her young. Some people believe that animals dont have feelings or souls. That everything that they do is a part of their nature. They live and die and that it is the end of it. I choose to disagree because I believe that God created everything and in doing so all living creatures were given a soul. The book of Genesis is pretty clear about this.
In watching how this mockingbird protected her young, it made me think about how there are people in this life that dont have that kind of natural instinct when it comes to caring for their young. Let's face it, being a parent means having heart and wisdom. It means that we sacrifice ourselves sometimes to protect what is so dear to us and that we protect our young in all situations that put them in peril.
Just like the baby birds will sometime leave the nest and move to the bushes in the front of the house, our children will move forward in different points in their lives. I am realizing how much my children are growing up now and needing a little more wiggle room. On Friday, my husband and I went to my daughter's field day at school. I have gone to her field day every year that she had been in school and havent missed a year yet. Kait is in the 4th grade now and when we went there, she was busy with her friends and trying to keep up with them. It used to be that she didnt want to leave my side but now she is running around with her friends and I realized that she is growing up a lot more.
My son is in the 6th grade . The past two nights he has been at a friends house and been out and about doing things with them.
I look at it as now my baby birds are in the bushes now and they are moving towards the day when they will fly away. Yes, they still have a ways to go before that happens but they are learning to stretch their wings a little bit now.

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