This past weekend, our youngest son turned 13. We officially have 2 teenagers in the house. Our worries about nap times and eating vegetables has changed to curfews and preparing them to be on their own. My biggest goal is to make sure they are good humans. Not perfect, free from flaws or mistakes, but nice and kind and compassionate. Unfortunately, that might be why they keep getting repeated lessons about how it feels when someone isn’t nice or kind or compassionate. Will they make mistakes? Yep. Will they make bad choices? Probably. My hope is that they learn from them and make different choices going forward.
My husband said something this weekend that made me stop and think. On our way back up to the house (after working in the garden), I mentioned about how much I love the 10 chickens we have. I also said I was kind of surprised and I had not expected to care for them as much as I do. He didn’t seem shocked at all. “They’re kind of like kids, you know? You get to mother them.” Huh. I’m the mother hen. This made me laugh, but it also made sense. As my kids move towards independence, they need me less. These chickens depend on me for food and water and to keep them safe. I’m not comparing my kids to chickens, and I certainly love my kids more than the birds. It’s just different.
My chickens don’t “bawk” at me posting photos of them. (Ha ha) They don’t care how they look or if a feather is out of place. Nobody will make fun of them. This is Teriyaki in the photo with me. We think she’s a girl but we don’t know for sure. If she starts crowing one day, we will still think “he” is cute and know that he likes clover and loves to sit on your lap.
If you Google “mother hen,” it says:
a person who sees to the needs of others, especially in a fussy or interfering way.
Yeah, I probably am a mother hen. I guess I will be fussy with my chickens, but I’ll still be interfering with my kids. I’ll interfere enough so they know I care, but not too much to drive them away. I want them to be able to talk to me. I want them to know they are loved. I want them to have fond memories. I want them to remember the summer we got chickens and the chicken cupcakes I made. (Even though the birthday boy asked what they were supposed to be!)
Mother hen, mama bear, mommy shark, mama llama… I’m probably a bit of all of them. My heart expanded to add the chickens, they didn’t replace anything. I’m thankful to get to be a mother. It wasn’t an easy road, and I know there are moms who have lost kids or women who wish to be moms who cannot. It’s a special bond.
God doesn’t “mother hen” us. He isn’t fussy or forceful or interfering. He wants a relationship with us, but many times we are like the teenager, rolling our eyes. Take some time to sit in nature, watch the birds or dragonflies or fireflies and connect back to God. He’s the safe place where you can land. He’s the loving father who knows we still need him, even if we act like we can do it all ourselves.
Peace be with you on your journey of enough. I wish you a good summer, and if you see me in person, I’ll probably show you pictures of my chickens.