For a while now I have been following the comings and goings of a female robin that has made a nest outside my bedroom window. For weeks now she has been making the most intricate nest. She has Easter grass, dried hosta leaves, twigs, etc. lining her abode.
At first, my husband wanted to move it but quickly realized that would in essence ruin all of her hard work. See, the nest is right at eye level outside my bedroom window. All of these days I have heard her cooing and singing. You would think that at 4:30 in the morning that would be annoying, but it is far from it.
Stay with me here…there is an odd sort of kinship that I have with this bird. I open my window to hear her song. I keep my curtains on my 12 foot wide picture window in my room so I can lay in bed in the morning to see her feather her nest. I am inside, she is outside but aren’t we both doing the same thing?
I tuck my kids into bed and kiss them goodnight. Read them a story and sing them a song. She patiently sits on her tiny, fragile baby blue eggs and waits to see when they will emerge. Out into the bright and dangerous world. Isn’t that what we do as Mothers? You have so many fears, worries and anxieties about a child’s impending arrival as well. Yes, I know this is just a bird. But while watching this experience unfold before my eyes I can’t help but to personalize it.
So, this weekend I am alone with the Boys. I woke up before them on Saturday (which never happens) I get my coffee and go back to bed to read the paper. I hear the saddest mourning sound and I knew. I knew that something had happened overnight to the nest. I look down to see a fresh baby bird struggling in the mulch below the nest and another intact egg. I don’t know how this has occurred but it was probably a raccoon. Believe it or not it climbed the gutter drainpipe. I only know this because I saw the muddy paw prints.
Her sound hits me at my core. This may sound nuts (or hormonal….which it isn’t) but I felt like I had to do something. I got rubber gloves and put the baby back in the nest. I know the old tale about a mother animal forsaking a newborn that had been touched by human hands but I had to do it. it wouldn’t have lasted with all of the wildlife we have around here.
After about an hour she flew back and sat in her nest. When I deposited the baby in the nest I saw 2 other eggs that were unhatched. Encouraged, I have waited to see what today would bring. I watched her this morning and saw nothing. After school I rushed home to see that 2 more had emerged and 1 more had not. The wonderful part was that my little hatchling was still alive and kicking!
There was just something…I don’t know, communal about watching this mother feed her babies. She is now comfortable enough to let me stand in the window and watch her. We are separated by glass and about a foot. I just watch her…I really don’t have time for this but I just can’t tear my eyes away. I have shared this experience with my kids. We sat on the bed Saturday and just watched. Audubon in real life, I guess.
Now, you may be analyzing why I am drawn to this bird. It could be that like the bird I myself have lost a baby. It could be that every few months I feel the familiar pull to have another. I really cannot put myself through that again. It could be that I have spent an unusual amount of time alone lately. Maybe I was tired…there could be 50 reasons why this touched me the way that it did.
I just held my babies a little tighter. I took a little pride in what I have accomplished lately. Building something from nothing when you are filled with so much self doubt is hard to get past. I am not the kind of person who is bubbling over with confidence anyway so putting myself out there for the world to see is a daunting task.
So for now, I am going to continue my bird-watching. And like her, I will feather my nest and keep an eye on the world.