Our middle child bird flew the coop two weeks ago. I guess technically she is a now a fledgling and is endeavoring to make her own nest at University of Oregon. I would be remiss if I did not make the connection between her being a Duck and making a nest but I am not going to because that seems like too many bird metaphors.
Our Big Bird turned twenty-eight and has made a nest with his girl friend not too far away from here. He is on his own but you know how birds come and steal your stuff to line their nests? That is kind of what it’s like here. Sorry, more bird metaphors.
We are left with Baby Bird. She is ten years old and so far away from leaving the nest that I alternate from ecstatic to devastated depending on my mood. Some days when I look around at my friends with with their now empty nests, and their going to movies in the afternoon, and their staying up late, and their not having to drive anyone to horse lessons, and their “wow I can do whatever I want with my life” and their “I’m so sad the kids are gone” and I want to punch them. Boo effing Hoo. But, it is not that time for us yet and even though we will be around one hundred years old when Baby Bird leaves I am happy she is still here. She is amazing and complex and I have to be nice to her because I think she is the only kid that will take care of us when we are old.
I have been parenting for twenty-eight years and some of it actually hasn’t totally sucked. I roll my eyes when I hear, “It’s the best most important job there is!” Because really? What about President of the United States, or Pope, or running the Kardashian empire? Those jobs seems way more important and special to me. What keeps me from jumping off a bridge or running away with the circus (I actually have worked with a circus but that is a post for another time.) is the knowledge that my little birds think my job is really important and special. At least I think they think that because they have never actually said it- but let’s pretend. For them, for now, I am their Commander in Chief and Spiritual Leader and that actually is the hardest job I will ever love. Someday the nest will be empty, but not today. Yay.