I love being a mom. It is simultaneously the most challenging and most rewarding job there is. The challenges are daily and nearly constant, yet the rewards, when they come, are so sweet that they make it all worthwhile. Mother’s Day is one such reward. This past Mother’s Day, I enjoyed “feeling the love” from my children and husband, while also celebrating my own mother and mother-in-law who have both done so much to guide and support me. Mothers are selfless beings who sacrifice many of their own wants and needs for those of their children, while loving their offspring unconditionally.
Quite apropos to this holiday that honors mothers everywhere, my Mother’s Day began with a wonderful surprise—one of nature’s small miracles—a trio of Robin’s eggs had just hatched in a nest on our front door!
Last summer I wrote a blog post about another Robin’s nest inside a hanging plant on our front porch. That hanging plant had long since withered and died; however, as the leaves returned to the trees and vibrant colors began to sprout all around us, another industrious Robin built a new home, reminding me of the magic of spring— signaling rebirth, rejuvenation and renewal.
For several days last month, I was transfixed as a Mama Robin spent countless hours gathering twigs, dirt and mud to build a cozy nest inside a wreath hanging on our front door. Like most mothers, the selfless Mama bird did not rest, flying to and fro dozens of times per day, meticulously building her perfect nest. What’s more, every time someone approached our front door, she would fly off, expending even more energy to evade the potential threat of a predator.
The beautifully crafted nest was completed in just a few days, and, soon after, we noticed three beautiful teal-blue eggs resting inside. The Mama then kept vigil for two weeks, resting on her precious eggs, and leaving only occasionally at night to gather food in preparation for her new arrivals. When I came downstairs on Mother’s Day morning, I noticed that the Mama bird was not sitting on her nest as usual. I peered inside the nest and was delighted to see that the eggs had hatched! Inside were three tiny, fleshy blobs with beaks, each donned with a few feathers. The baby birds were immobile and helpless. A few minutes later, the Mama returned home and resumed her perch.
How extraordinary to observe this miracle of life on Mother’s Day!
With the recent passing of our beloved golden retriever, Kira, and two children far away in college, my own nest has become even quieter and emptier lately, and I have been feeling a touch wistful. Yet, after observing the unwavering dedication, perseverance and love of the Mama Robin for her babies, and the incredible miracle of their birth on Mother’s Day, my heart swelled with hope, awe and inspiration. Witnessing the building and nurturing of the Robin’s nest, followed by the Mama bird’s sweet reward of birth, reminded me to focus on the celebration of life and all the things I have to be grateful about.
My husband and I are about to enter a new life chapter, as our eldest child graduates college and begins her foray into the ‘real world.’ It is a bittersweet sensation— feeling immense pride as we witnessed our daughter flourish in college and grow into a bonafide adult, co-mingled with a very real poignancy as we realize that this important life chapter is concluding. Like the Mama bird, we protect our young, teach them well and prepare them to live a fulfilling life on their own.
In a few short weeks, our Robin’s nest will be empty, as the baby birds take flight and begin their own magnificent lives. Likewise, our daughter will launch her own journey. I feel truly blessed to be a mom. The tough part now is letting go and allowing my baby bird to fly into that beautiful, blue sky and take on the world. As a mom, I embrace the realization that watching her leave is simultaneously the challenge and the reward of motherhood.