TWO WEEKS AGO my soon to be 11 year old daughter comes running into the house very upset. She declares, “we found a baby bird out on the grass…and we don’t know what to do!” I had a flashback of a similar situation when i was a small boy. I brought a baby bird to my dad asking what we should do with it. My dad, being the practical farmer that he was, took the bird (sparrow) and killed it (i’ll spare you the details). I don’t really remember what I said next, but i am sure i said something meaningful and useful. All I remember is my daughter saying to me in a weeping sweet voice, “But daddy, it’ll die.” Ouch.
She had won my heart to respond.
I made my way to the scene of the crime and surveyed the possibilities. Her 6 and half year old brother and she made sure i knew that we couldn’t touch it or the mother would reject it (chalk one up for good parenting!). It was she who saw a plastic bag (from where to this day i do not know where it came from) and suggested we (or I) could use it! (great troubleshooting skills, chalk up TWO for the parents!).
After locating where the nest was, and finding it to be on a very low branch i secured a step ladder and placed it in a good position. I took the plastic bag from my daughter and formed it around my hand enough to be able to scoop up the rather large baby bird and with both students eying me I place it back into its nest (probably to see that i didn’t kill it 😦
I got down from the ladder, and before i could dispose of the plastic bag and replace the ladder i got a big hug and smile from my daughter. (chalk up a HOMERUN for the male-side of parenthood!) I must admit, I didn’t think the mother would accept the baby back the whole time i was performing this parental duty. Afterall, she was right there in the neighbor’s yard watching the whole thing go down–she KNEW what we did and that it was US who did it. I can still hear my daughter’s sweet, weepy voice…and that let’s me know I did the right thing in her eyes.
I really wished my dad would have made that moment for me (and the bird) a more teachable one. But perhaps he did. That memory served to help me to know what needed to be done, or at least one way it should not be done. I do think whether the bird died or not, at least my daughter has a memory to feed her in life as to a good way to be a parent…at least I hope so.
So two weeks later and after a weekly inspection the baby robin bird is almost ready to leave the nest. We still see momma bird hopping on the lawn beneath the nest from our kitchen window or see her roosting (is that what robins do?) on our roof (perhaps it is just perching) and this lets us know the baby bird is still alive. I keep think about God and his love in all of this in several meaningful ways. So i will leave you with this thought, “Can you think of any?”