Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Empty Nest {Learning to Let Go ...Not So Gracefully}


We went camping for a few days last week.

Our first time this year.

I forget how much I love it until I'm there again.

One morning while Adam and I were enjoying our traditional camping routine, coffee and sunrise sans kiddos, we noticed the cutest little visitor.

A baby bird perched on our fire pit not even 3 feet from us.

He was so timid. So afraid that I believe he would have just let me pick him up had I chose. No natural instinct to protect himself. Totally dependent on his mother. Her instincts.

I believe he was some sort of finch. Not sure. I would look it up but it's summer break and I'm a homeschool mom....I need a break from Google.


I loved all of his little mad scientist tufts of hair.


Kinda reminded me of Doc from Back to the Future.


Then I looked over in the other direction and saw this little guy a little further out.

He was perched on a branch the storms had knocked down.

A bit older with signs of maturity. Confidence. Courage. Determination. Caution.

He was testing his wings. A bit further from the nest.

A teenager maybe?


As I watched these little birds I could not help but wonder about their mother.

Was she perched in a branch high above taking it all in?

Frightened to see me so close to her babies?

Petrified to see the possible danger and know they are just beyond the safety of her reach?

Her protection.

Her control.

Knowing all the while that she must help them to find their wings in order for them to survive on their own.


I must confess that for some time now I have been in a really strange season in my life. A place where the fear is gripping. The doubts overwhelming. The loss of control maddening.

For the past 15 years I have been a mom. That's it. Now I am facing this new chapter of my life in which one of my children will be transitioning into adulthood. I cannot express in words even how crazy this is to me. My mind can't even get wrapped around it.

My oldest is now 15 and life seems to be moving at God speed. I find myself wanting to just press pause somewhere. Freeze this tiny sliver of time I have left with him. He will be a Sophomore this fall. Finding the balance between letting go and holding him just close enough is turning out to be the hardest challenge of my life to date. A constant battle between fear and faith.

I see the man he is becoming. I see the little tufts of baby feathers giving way to his adult plumage. I feel him loosening his grip. Becoming restless. Peering over the edge to see what awaits him. Drifting further and further from the nest. From it's safety.

Testing his wings.

Honestly I am just not sure how this letting go thing works. Am I suppose to miraculously wake up one day and care just a little less? Worry less often? Just not care about his choices and how they may affect him? I'm hopeless I think.

A miracle. I have 3 years...and I'm praying for one.

How about you? Are you sitting high in the branches with me watching and praying? Or is your nest empty with only remnants of their feathers? Have you managed to come out on the other side of this letting go thing in one piece?

Any sage words of wisdom?

I need all I can get. :-)

I'm linking up here:

Sweet Shot Day

"Feels Like Home-Share Your Sunday Best"

"My every mortal breath, is Grace and nothing less"

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