My daughter stopped by today to explain as lovingly as she could to stop trying to fix things. She asked me to listen to a podcast about accepting that some things aren’t fixable, nor should they be. It’s part of life. Situations happen. Things aren’t always meant to be fixed. Accept situations for what they are. Accept people for who they are. Face it. Mommies can’t fix everything.
After my daughter left, I decided to spend a little time trimming back some flowers. Chillax. Reflect on non-fixing.
As I hummed along, I thought I heard a faint cry of a bird. I looked around and couldn’t see anything so I resumed my trimming.
As I reached to pull a weed out from under one of my Leyland Cyprus trees, there it was—a tiny fledgling, struggling to fly and crying. I immediately and angrily looked up into the trees. Where was its mother? Couldn’t she hear its call of distress?
The phone rang, and it was my girlfriend. I told her about the bird. “Leave it be,” was her advice. It’s not me to leave anything be.
I ran into the house and pulled apart a slice of bread and ran back to the tiny bird who was still crying helplessly. I was fairly cognizant of the fact that the fledgling probably couldn’t eat bread, but I was in the fixing mode. Podcast shmodcast.
I cooed softly to the baby bird asking “where’s your mommy?” I inspected the ground to make sure there were no ants or other bugs that could hurt it. And then I went into my office to try to finish up a project I was way past deadline on.
But every couple of minutes I had this nagging pull to go outside. To see what was going on. Look around for the mommy. And make sure no cats or squirrels were lurking about.
All afternoon I ran in and out of the house watching this stupid little bird. Why wouldn’t it just fly away? Jump onto a bush already, get to higher ground. Why didn’t it stop crying and try to help itself?
I googled what to do if you find a baby bird out if its nest. What I read was that maybe the baby fell out of its nest or maybe it was pushed. Pushed? What mother would do that I asked myself.
After some reflection, I answered myself. Okay, I suppose it depends on the child, or in this case, the fledgling.
No matter whether it fell or was pushed, I frantically continued to run back and forth from my office to the fledgling. The hell with my deadline.
On my way out of the house for like the fiftieth time, I saw the mommy, perched on my deck. I got very close to her and was able to take a photo. Okay, it was a little blurry because my hands were shaking but she never moved. This mother was defiant.
When I tried to get close to her baby, she swooped down but kept her distance.
I felt tremendously relieved that this baby bird had someone who cared after all. The mommy was hopping closer and closer to the fledgling while keeping an eye out for me.
I went back into the house, but I couldn’t focus on work at all. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t focus on anything but that damned baby bird. How long was it going to hop around? Was it hurt? Was it incapable of flying? Was it hungry? Please stop crying already.
Was there anything I could do to fix it?
I poured myself a glass of wine to calm down a bit. This bird had me all nerved up. I had been at this for five hours already! If you’re wondering, yes, I recognized the ridiculousness of the situation, but I simply couldn’t control myself.
That’s when I decided the only thing to do was write this blog post. Try to calm myself down and record it.
In between running in and out of the house checking on the bird situation, I was writing this post—cell phone in hand, should a photo op present itself.
The mommy bird was edging closer and closer to its baby but not fast enough for me. What was she waiting for? Come on. Help out your crying kid already. Fix the situation. Solve the problem. Avert disaster.
I finally had them both in my window view so I could now stay comfortably inside my house and go from window to window between the baby and the mommy. Willing mommy to come closer, I couldn’t stop going back and forth, window to window, the glass of wine still in my hand.
My husband warily observed the absurd situation and just shook his head in amazement. Nothing surprises him about my behavior any longer. He knows my MO.
I finally gave the bird fiasco a break and forced myself to try to burn some of my energy on the recumbent bike. All the while forcing myself to stay put—to keep peddling. Willing myself not to think about the fledgling. Leave the worrying to someone else. Someone else? Get a grip Teri. We’re talking about birds here.
Okay, so forget about working out. I jumped off the bike to check on mommy. She was still standing guard and hadn’t budged.
I thought about getting back on the bike, but I just couldn’t. I was too anxious. So back on the deck, I went.
The mommy was gone! But the baby was still crying. My husband, relaxing on the outdoor swing watched in astonishment as I ran in and out, out and in.
And then I saw the mommy! She was hidden in the tree coaxing her baby bird to join her, teaching survival tactics. Showing her baby how to blend in and conquer a dangerous world.
The sound of the ringing phone brought me back into the house. It was my girlfriend again. “You’re still screwing around with that bird? It’s been over eight hours!”
While on the phone with her I ran back out to the deck listening for the crying bird, my husband now in tow. And to my relief, the baby was still crying but high up in the tree this time.
Kudos to the mother. She had done her job. She had fixed things. Her baby was safe for now.