Leaving The Nest
I witnessed the coolest thing this morning! A baby house finch bird apparently had just flown from its nest and wasn’t quite sure what to do next.
I spotted it on our fence and decided to see if I could get some decent photos of it trying to fly. I didn’t, because it didn’t. I was actually afraid one of the hawks that like to hang out in the area might come down and swoop it up. I did watch it for a while, though.
At one point “daddy” came near it and flew off again, only to return with food for the baby. I did get some cool pictures of that. Off daddy went, for quite a long time. The baby seemed to be looking at its nest, or perhaps at its daddy, but daddy didn’t come back – Until…
The momma bluebird stuck her head out of the bluebird house. As I was trying to get the camera lens focused on her, she flew out, directly toward the baby house finch. Next thing I knew, Daddy house finch flew at the momma bluebird and chaos ensued. It all happened so quickly that I couldn’t get my camera focused on anything. And then it was over.
Somehow the baby finch had made it to the safety of our trellis and daddy had chased momma bluebird away. The baby was left alone for a little bit, but then the daddy came to encourage it along. The baby hopped along down the fence, following its daddy, out of my site.
How typical “human parent/child-like” was that scenario? Think about our children, leaving home for the first time.
Parents know their children need to make it on their own. Hopefully, they have taught them life skills during the time they have lived at home. Finally, the day comes and our baby needs to leave the “nest.” I tell parents all the time, “Birds gotta fly.”
Often, we let them try to succeed on their own. We aren’t too far away though. If we see they are struggling, we may stop over with some food for them. If we seem them in imminent danger, we usually rush in to save them, make sure they are safe, and then let them try it again.
I’m not saying we need to be helicopter parents, hovering over their every move. Just that it is nice for our adult children to know when push comes to shove, their parents have their back. I think that’s okay. Everybody needs a little encouragement, or a little help, every now and then.
Love from a distance, assist when necessary. It works.
*Pam Horton is a certified Parenting Coach in the Raleigh area.