It doesn't matter where one lives, a parents job is the same. I was reminded this morning of what it means to be a parent to an older teenager.
It is that time of year when seniors are graduating from high school (or college) and getting ready for the next step in their lives. A parents job is to push their children.
Push them out of the nest, give them support and encouragement, yet be there for them until their wings are strong enough for their solo flight into life.
As I returned home from my morning walk with Winston, I saw a baby bird on the ground. It looked too young, in my opinion, to be out of the nest. After I deposited Winston inside the house, I went back to investigate the baby. It looked like a Cardinal and after trying to get closer to it to see if it was injured, I knew it WAS a Cardinal. Both parents were close by and gave me a piece of their mind, "Get Away!" they warned. I insisted on lending a hand and moved Little Baby to the base of the nearest evergreen tree. I stepped away to watch from a distance. Lo and behold, nature was taking care of itself! Little Baby was getting a lesson in how to fly! I watched as mom and pop encouraged their nestling to keep going. Hop, flaaaap, hop, flaaaap across my entire backyard. Periodically the parents, taking turns, would fly down to Little Baby and tweet little encouragements.
My oldest turns 18 in less than a month. He will be a senior in high school in just a few days. He is an amazing person and I know whatever path he takes in life he will be fine. I will push, push, push him, but I won't like him leaving my nest next year. My husband and I will spend this summer being like Little Bird's parents as we cart our son around to different colleges and tweet little encouragements to him about each place.
About the photos: Wisteria...I discovered that next door at my neighbors, Little Cardinal...I saw her (or him) this morning in my backyard, Mulberries...from one of my two trees out back.