Mother Bird’s Babies

FANTASY:  Wanting to achieve all the things.

AMBITION:  Pursuing a number of goals simultaneously.

REALITY:  Achieving one thing.

This list doesn’t always apply to my life.  Last week, it did.  It was a week of preparation to send another little bird out of the nest.  And this one literally wants to fly.

As we moved our oldest son into college and simultaneously watched him take his Oath of Office as  an HSSP Air Force cadet, my maternal self wanted to yell “No, not yet!”  He’s ready, but apparently, I’m not.   Running blind through the torrential wind-wrapped rain on the college campus to make it to the official event on time, I could think only metaphorically…”I don’t have to cry because the heavens are drowning me in mommy tears”.  For the public eye, it was fortunate my cerebral control kept things in check, even though all my heart saw was this…

Family 044_2

I am so very proud of my son’s achievements thus far and am quite confident he is going spread his wings and soar, his childhood dream only beginning to unfold.  And as it goes with his running, I’ll be lagging some distance behind navigating the ever-changing terrain of motherhood.

I’ve been here before.  Memories of his older sisters’ journeys out of home base engulf me, as I recall pushing one out of the nest hesitantly and reluctantly letting the other one fly out with a powerful trajectory.  While managing to help them on their way, my joy competed with my sadness.  This dichotomous transition is clearly never easy.

I achieved one thing last week, one monumental thing. 

As the fantasy was replaced by reality, my unfinished writing is waiting patiently for my return.  My goals remain in a holding pattern, dependent on my undivided focus accessible only after releasing the weight of this sentimental recollection.

-Erika K Rothwell

In order to catch up on the business of writing, this post is short but I wanted to share a silly little poem I wrote years ago when I sent my firstborn daughter off to college since these emotions are raw, yet again. 

“Mother Bird, why do you cry?”

“I had to push my baby bird out of the nest today,

I don’t know why!”

“Mother Bird, of course, you know why

Your baby is gone


don’t  despair

She will come back to you


and will not deny

 she learned to fly


her mother cared enough

to show her

the sky!”

– Erika K Rothwell


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