Yup, our kids just left the nest. The pressure is off but we are also sad.
It seems like just a while ago when it all started. The expecting parents were busy and ignoring all their friends. I think it is called nesting. They were building nests like crazy. Five or six that we know about. Yellows, greys and some baby blue highlights from an old tarp.
Then mom laid the eggs. She sat on them to keep them warm during snow storms and cool nights. Two eggs didn't make it. One we found smashed on the ground (all the king's horses and all the kings men couldn't put it back together again) and one about 15 feet away with a small hole in it.
Dad and mom chased away up to four of those evil magpies at a time with some help from some neighbouring blackbirds and their ever vigilant (human) step-mom.
About two weeks ago the two remaining eggs hatched. Robert and Robyn were hungry kids. Worms and more worms. And they grew fast. At first they were all necks and beaks, rising up out of the nest to feed. Then they were stretching their wings and fighting for food like only siblings can.
But two weeks is a long time and finally they were ready to leave the nest.
Full of bravo, Robert the big brother, flew out of the nest first. But courage was fleeting and he hurried back under the deck, misjudging the height of an opening along with his flying skills and banging his head on a beam… finally settling onto an artificial tree in the darkest corner. Robyn watched her bigger brother with interest and when it was her turn, she flew down off the beam and joined her brother on the back of a deck chair.
She sat for a while watching Robert and finally decided to show him up, and flew off into the yard to join her parents. Meanwhile, Robert's dad flew back to offer some encouragement to his son. Then he kinda just started getting annoyed and impatient when Robert failed to listen or respond, as any parent with teenagers would. But eventually, Robert joined Robyn and their parents out in the yard.
And now we are empty nesters.
How are our kids doing? Will we see them again? Will they graduate from flying school?
Have you ever noticed that as humans we tend to humanize things? We have an unrelenting desire and ability to try to explain the world through our own perspectives using stories. Sometimes this serves us well and sometimes this causes us to misunderstand the world around us or miscommunicate with others.
For instance, the majority of people see that robins are good and magpies are evil for trying to eat their babies. In reality, neither are actually good or evil. They are doing what they are meant to do. We just relate to the ones that are closest to our own viewpoints. The cute robins.
Sure sometimes people are actually evil or dangerous to be around.
But usually people are just different from what we define as normal or acceptable, and we judge them prematurely or incorrectly, based on how "we" would see things. I read in a book recently that treating others as you expect to be treated is a bad idea (for managers). Why? Because you should treat them as they expect to be treated? Everyone is different and is motivated by different things.
So knowing how AND when to see the world as it really is instead of through our programmed lens is a valuable skill. And even better yet is the skill of seeing the world through someone else's perspective.