I am truly blessed to have two boys whose clothing I wash and whose bellies I fill. Sometimes, when all is quiet, I sigh seeing how much they have grown and how they are no longer my babies. Whether Persian, American, Chinese or the like, all mothers have a lot in common. Our love leads us to worry so much that it sometimes borders on irrational.
With the changing season, I can’t help recalling last May, at the dawn of spring, when a mother bird built a beautiful nest on top of our gutters. It was the perfect location, up high and under the shelter of our roof. We marveled at the delicacy of her weaves and her resourcefulness in acquiring the materials. We were astounded by her speed in creating a nest. We all quite liked the bird and were delighted to soon discover three light-blue eggs. My boys were so careful to steer clear of our feathered friends when playing their favorite ballgames.
Incidentally, it was also the beginning of raccoon season. The poor raccoons have such a different fate and stigma. Even a mother raccoon with several cubs gets no sympathy. They are notorious for knocking down garbage pails, and every effort is made to keep them from devouring leftovers. My husband and I repel the raccoons by throwing some mothballs around the yard and on our roof. We find it to be inexpensive and effective.
But, this year, we ran into a bit of a problem. No, the raccoons did not eat our birds! After distributing the mothballs and retiring for the night, I remembered Momma Bird up in her nest. I tossed and turned in my bed thinking about how the mothballs might adversely affect her. Then, I shuddered to think of those poor freezing eggs. Surely, they must have been abandoned by a reluctant, heartbroken mother, forced to leave her home and seek nearby refuge from which she could still watch her eggs.
At the first rays of light, I took out a small washcloth to blanket over the eggs, and rushed out to get the ladder so I could collect the mothballs from the roof. While up on the ladder, I saw the sleepy-eyed mother’s puzzled look spying me from her cozy nest. When I saw her, pride swelled in my heart. This is a mother! So steadfast, constant, selfless and unwavering, she had not left her eggs.
I contemplated how I will always look up to her and aspire to be a truly devoted mother. When I took the car out later that day and saw the bird droppings on my windshield, I didn’t wash them off. I kept them as a proud display of motherhood.
The inspirational story ends here. And, just for record, later that day, Google Dearest informed me that most birds do not actually have a sense of smell and would not have even noticed the mothballs. Blessed is our creator, who grants each creature its own set of attributes, wisdom and strengths to best facilitate its continuance.