Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Nest


I discovered her a few days ago. Sister and I were loading into the "money van" (Sister's skewed, but adorable, interpretation of our mini-van that I don't have the heart to correct) for the latest of our many recent trips to the doctor. It was a little bird - I'm not sure what kind - carrying some straw in her beak into our barbecue grill. The lid was closed, but there are two openings on each side of the lid just big enough for Mrs. Bird. I pointed her out to sister. "Look! That bird is making a nest in our grill! See? She's carrying that straw inside to make a nest for her babies." I made a mental note to check it later and see if the kids and I could sneak a peek at her newly constructed home.

I got my coffee late this morning and I seemed to be moving in slow motion. The kids, however, seemed to be moving in hyper speed. They are each wanting something from me, all at the same time. I barely have my eyes open when I am blindsided by rapid sniper fire. "Mommy, can we have french toast?" "Mommy, can I have some juice?" "Mommy, what are we going to do today?" "Do I have to do chores?" "Can I watch a movie?" "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" Baby is glued to my leg, crying for me to pick her up. I hit the ground running instead of having my coffee first, which was a big mistake. By 10:00 a.m. I feel like my feet are cement blocks and my head a lead balloon. My energy level is zero. I'm trying to keep up with the messes that seem to appear out of nowhere, but for every one I clean up, three more rear their ugly heads.

I send the kids outside to play, where they end up playing in the water hose. I turn it off and give them specific instructions not to play in the water. I have them look me in the eye and repeat what I just said, "Do not turn the water back on." Ten minutes later I happen to peek out to see them making a huge mud puddle in the drive way (with the water hose) and splashing gleefully in said puddle. Man. Now I have to dole out discipline. I get them in, get them clean and administer corporal punishment. I don't spank often, but I felt that such outright disobedience required it. I hate it.

It's not even noon and my day is kicking my butt.

I feed them lunch and get Baby down for a much needed nap. Brother and Sister are having some quiet time on their beds. I really want to lay down, too, but I have so much to do. I'm trying to take FlyLady's advice and do baby steps, but even the baby steps feel impossible today. I glance out the window and notice that the water hose didn't get turned off good, so I go out and tighten up the knob. I happen to remember Mrs. Bird and the nest I saw her building. I decide to check it out. I expect to find a little nest, maybe even a partial nest, not yet finished. I make my way over to the grill, startling Mrs. Bird, who comes flying out one of the holes. I hesitate, worrying that there might be eggs in there. I had heard that if you disturb the eggs, the mother will abandon them. I see little pieced of dried grass poking out from under the lid. Curiosity gets the best of me. Gently, I lift the lid. To my surprise, the entire inside of the grill has been transformed into a bird mansion. I am dumbfounded by the size. When I saw her, this bird had just a little tuft of straw in her beak. To make a nest this large would have taken hundreds of these tufts.

Standing there looking at her nest, I feel strangely happy for her. It's not just straw, but leaves and a few feathers here and there. I think of what a perfect little bird home this is. How meticulously she toiled to build such a home for her soon to be babies. I think of how snug and dry and safe they will be from rain, wind and stray cats. And I feel rejuvinated. I want her resolve. I want the same for my nest. I want to make it a haven for my little family. When they enter I want them to see the labor of my hands reflected by the love in my heart. I begin to remember why I do what I do each day. I close the lid with a smile, wishing Mrs. Bird and her family all the best.

Guess we won't be grilling for a while.

8 comments:

LiteratureLover said...

That thing is huge!! It is also inspiring when you realize that she did it one little tuft at a time. I feel better.

Denise W. said...

Oh, to be that focused!! I'm constantly just "putting out fires" - like puddles on the driveway!

Michelle- This One's For The Girls said...

Oh man, you're killing me. I'm sitting here teared up over a bird's nest.

I'm no fly baby, but I think I've got some nesting to do today.

Sarah said...

She made herself a bird mansion in babysteps!! I love it!! Thank you for inspiring us all with Mrs. Bird's efforts!

janiners said...

i really loved that story. i hope i'm making a good nest for my little baby and also for my daughter and her son. i'm already getting anxious to stay home and be with them all day! i love how you encounter God and truth in all these little moments in your life. thank you for sharing with us, girl.

heartsjoy said...

That is So BIG!! WOW! I love your analogy. That is really good to remember.

thebarefootpoet said...

No grilling? Now that brings tears to my eyes. Hmm, grilled chicken and eggs...

Okay sorry, I tried to stop but I couldn't.

Kyle said...

I agree - fire up the grill. Extra protien! (Can you tell I'm suffering under this burn-ban?)