Monday, August 13, 2012

Mama Bird

No one mentions the Mama Bird....

"Come to the edge," [s]he said.
They said, "We are afraid."
"Come to the edge," [s]he said.
They came.
[S]he pushed them...
...and they flew.
-Guillaume Apollinaire
I pushed another one out of the next today, and as I expected, he flew.  He soared.  He never even looked down, so confident was he in his place in this world, so sure of his footsteps down the path blazed before him by his older brother.  Leo started Kindergarten today. 

And Aidan began his year as a third grader, in a new, upper elementary school serving grades 3 and 4. 

But it was a hard day for Mama Bird, and perhaps harder still for the last baby in the nest. ... I think Pax summed it up pretty perfectly for the both of us.  This is how my heart felt this morning watching my two big boys head off to school in the bright yellow bus. 

 Some things don't get easier the longer you parent, and this is one of them.  I can't quite articulate yet what was so hard about this morning, about the 2:1 ratio of school boy: home boy, instead of the house full of boys I most prefer.  I can't quite articulate it, yet Pax, in his magnificent wordlessness, does a pretty outstanding job of illustrating my sentiment.   

 And yet it is this photo below that is my favorite, because it speaks to what my heart hoped for most of all, shows what I've coached Aidan to do for Leo in these first weeks of school. I asked Aidan to protect Leo, watch out for him, represent our family to Leo and act as a guardian for him.  I reminded Aidan what it felt like in his first weeks of kindergarten, and made sure he knew how lucky Leo was to have Aidan on his side.  The full truth is that after a summer of bickering and squabbles, I wasn't sure Aidan's sweet and compassionate nature would shine through quite bright enough when it was his middle brother in need of some light. 

But it did, and he delivered.  From reports on both sides, the (horribly long) ride home was filled with kind words and sweet laughter.  Tonight, hearing this account, Mama Bird was able to smooth tired feathers and tuck small wings into warm nests with the understanding and contentment of knowing that at least there is soaring and flight to enjoy in place of the empty holes left in the nest. 

1 comment:

Susan said...

Well written, Mama Bird. And Pax's picture is worth a 1000 words. Nice job getting them ready to be pushed out of the nest!