The Mother

What a very strange place to build a nest!  The top of our old, abandoned basketball hoop post is not exactly my idea of a safe place to raise babies, especially because the nest was built inside the open top of the pole hole.  It’s safe from most predators because it is 8 feet up in the air.  The parents take turns keeping watch so they are also safe from birds of prey as well.  But a long, hollow pole for a teeny, tiny nest?

Suddenly, my delight changed to concern.  I watched, completely fascinated, from inside my car parked in the driveway, as the tiny mom and dad dove down inside the top of this metal pole to feed the chirping babies.  It must get really hot in there for those babies, I thought to myself, especially here in the warm south with a temperature of 90 degrees yesterday.  What if the nest fell all the way to the bottom, inside the pole?

The sky turned gray and I heard a rumble of thunder.  The rain started as a trickle first, then gradually came down harder until it was a good downpour.  Still in my car, windshield wipers on full speed, I watched as the two parents emerged from the top of the pole, looking as if they were ready to take off.

Dad flew to the top of the hoop and stood guard, but it was what mother did next that made me wish I had my video camera handy.

With the delicate grace nature gives her, she balanced on the top rim of the opening as if she would go back in with her babies.  But instead, she hovered, extending her wings, stretching them as far as they would go and acting as an “umbrella” for her offspring.  Was she cleaning herself, using the rain to take a shower, or was she protecting her babies from potentially drowning?  I know nothing of birds or their habits, but it certainly looked like she was protecting them, with dad watching over his mate and babies.

It dawned on me that all good mothers do this.  As mothers, we spend at least 18 years of our lives with our wings extended, as if to say, “Nothing’s going to happen to my child with me here.”  We too have a natural instinct to surround, protect, keep safe, stand guard against anything bad that comes near our children.  We nag … they chirp.  We yell … they squawk.  We hug … they extend their wings.

We shelter our “babies” from sinking into a bad place, and if they do fall, we go down there with them and pull them back up.  It’s what moms do.  When the time is right, just like mother bird, we have to push them out of the nest too, so they can learn to be self-sufficient.  How else will they learn?

My mom is gone now, but somehow she is never too far away.  At times, I swear I can hear her whisper guidance in my ear, tell me she loves me and she’s proud of me, or remind me that each new day brings new things and not to be afraid of tomorrow.

My mom was just like that momma bird.  She protected us fiercely, and when the time was right, she let us fly, because she knew she had done her job correctly and prepared us for what lay in front of us.

I miss her so much it hurts.  Remember your mom this weekend and be ever mindful of all she did, has done, and will continue to do for you in life as well as in death.  If she is still living, there is a huge blessing in that.  And if she has passed on, the blessing now sits inside of you for having known her.

God bless all mothers everywhere!

©2014 The Estate Lady®

Julie Hall, The Estate Lady®, is the foremost national expert on personal property in estates, including liquidating, advising, and appraising.  She is also the Director of American Society of Estate Liquidators®, the national educational and resource organization for estate liquidation.

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