Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fly Away, Little Birdie, Fly Away

Cradle Song
by Lord Alfred Tennyson

What does little birdie say
In her nest at peep of day?
Let me fly, says little birdie,
Mother, let me fly away.
Birdie, rest a little longer,
Till thy little wings are stronger.
So she rests a little longer,
Then she flies away.

What does little baby say,
In her bed at peep of day?
Baby says, like little birdie,
Let me rise and fly away.
Baby, sleep a little longer,
Till thy little limbs are stronger.
If she sleeps a little longer,
Baby too shall fly away.

Almost from the moment our children are born, we love them, nurture them, teach them, and grow them.  We shape and mold, we laugh, we cry (sometimes both at the same time) and we fall to our knees in prayer. 

All in the hope
that they will become strong, happy adults
who make the world a better place through the gift of their love for others.

Why, then, is it such utter shock when, before we blink twice, it has actually happened

When they first start to become independent, we are happy and proud and the little pang in our heart isn’t very noticeable.

It the teen years, the "pang" sometimes just outright feels like our hearts have been torn out of our chests.  There’s the chaos of a heart swollen with so much love you think it might burst, mixed in with the ache of watching them make many of the same mistakes that you also made at their age, and all the while they move away from needing you like they did before at break-neck speed.  They are just {{this little tiny bit}} out of your grasp.

And then – it truly seems like only a very short time – “suddenly” – ha!  Yes, suddenly they are driving, they are spending time with “significant others” (whose names are not mom and dad); they are working and schooling and you barely catch a glimpse of them as they come in the door and head off to bed.

Before you know what has happened, shelves and closets are emptied; boxes are packed and vehicles are loaded to the brim with all their worldly possessions.  You stand at the doorway or in the driveway with them, giving “just one more” hug, not wanting to ever let go, but knowing you must.  This is their time to fly.

It leaves an empty feeling in the heart.  A place that is not easily or quickly filled.

Yet, every time they come back for a visit, it’s beautiful to watch how the gap seems to close back up – little by little.  There is a new respect for life, for how the world “really” is, and sometimes – just sometimes – the realization that mom and dad were not as wrong as they seemed to be at one time.

Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not depart from it.
~~Proverbs 22:6~~

1 comment:

Amber @ A Woman Redeemed said...

I love that. I never cease to be amazed at how my parents become smarter with each passing year. :) I can only hope that my children will think that one day too! If I get paid back for all the eye rolling I dished otu to my mama, it's going to be a long process! lol

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