Empty Nest?

This is a baby sparrow. It fell out of the nest in an evergreen tree behind our house. The little ball of fluff sat motionless in the grass. Somehow, our son noticed it before the cat did. When we got close it it, the mom freaked out. She chirped loudly and tried to fly at my head. She knew her baby wasn’t ready to fly on its own yet, but she couldn’t lift it back to the nest. She brought food to it and tried to make noise to scare off any danger. Empty nest… we refer to people as “empty nesters” when their kids(s) leave home. I feel like sometimes we can be like that momma bird, wanting to protect and shelter our young. 18 years can seem like forever when you’re the kid, but it’s a blink of the eye for the parents.

I have one more year with both boys still “in the nest.” A year from now, I will have had a graduation. This year, graduations looked different. Empty nests became full again. Plans changed, and were revised, and changed again. We have no idea what the coming school year will look like. Some nests will remain full and some will empty again. Letting go is difficult. I’m not ready to, but I know it’s important. Hold on too tight & they will go wild when they’re on their own. Lack of structure isn’t good either though. Responsibilities and consequences are important too.

For now, I will soak it up like a sponge, but still let them experience life. Sometimes I really do feel like I’m in the middle of a teeter totter, trying to keep my balance. Someone once told me they prefer the word “harmony” instead of “balance.” Harmony sounds so much smoother and musical and peaceful. Balance makes me think of the teeter totter. Are you old enough to remember getting the wind knocked out of you when someone jumped off? I am. Let’s focus on harmony instead.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. Whether you’re an empty nester, have a full nest, or somewhere in between, I hope you stay connected to those you love. We’ve had to get more creative, learn new technologies (Zoom) and even go back to some old ways (letter writing.) Stay safe, stay healthy. You are enough.

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