Feeding Frenzy

photo-4“Do you think bluebirds overeat?” I asked Greg.

We’ve been trying to attract bluebirds for years, and this is the first year we’ve been successful. We have five eggs in a house in our backyard. I flipped open the front of the house and took  this picture with my phone when Momma and Poppa weren’t around.

The parents have been so busy building the nest and now keeping the eggs warm. The mother bird actually pulls feathers out of herself so she can press her warm belly up to the eggs to help them incubate. You can kind of see that on one of the pictures below.

And the father is bringing the mother bird worms galore. Greg is doing most of the reading and studying on what and how much to feed them, but we are going through A LOT of worms (bought from our local bird store). When the babies hatch, it will be even more.

It’s the first thing Greg does when he comes home from work–go and refill the feeders and put out more worms. He whistles when he adds the worms, trying to train the bluebirds to come on command. Yesterday we thought it had worked, as they swooped down just as he whistled. Today they didn’t, so maybe it was a coincidence.

Feeding is such a big part of parenting. I remember when our son was such a picky  selective eater, that the only way I could get him to eat breakfast was to make muffins every morning. Now I’d love to say they were made from scratch with wholesome, healthy ingredients, but they weren’t. It was Betty Crocker all the way. He went for long stretches where he’d only eat blueberry muffins. Then it would be chocolate chip muffins. And we’d have our lemon poppy seed muffin months. I made muffins for years, but I never minded. It was a clear-cut thing I could do that was generally helpful. Usually parenting is so complex, you have no idea if you’re doing the right thing–you’re truly winging it.

I have been so blessed as Greg has been 100% involved in the whole parenting process. (I can’t imagine how single parents do it.) I couldn’t ask for a better partner.

One of my good friends just told me she and her husband are expecting their first child. I’m so happy for them! Parenting is full of the kind of joy you simply can’t explain to people who haven’t had kids. But it’s also hard and kind of scary.

Feeding is the easy part. I miss making muffins.

Letting go is the hard part.



Becoming a Person

A few weeks ago, a friend wrote, “Don’t Blink” on her Facebook page when her son turned twenty. She told new parents that, however cliché, it’s really true: time passes all too quickly and your little one grows up in the blink of an eye.

Today it’s my turn. It’s my son’s birthday, and he’s turning twenty. I remember when he was an infant and his Aunt Judy visited. She would gaze at him sleeping in his crib and say that he was growing so fast–“He’s becoming a little person.” I thought it was a funny thing to say at the time, but today it makes complete sense.

Somewhere along the way, my baby boy became a full-fledged person. He doesn’t like me to write about him, which I totally get (and I hope I’m not crossing a line here). I think it’s enough to say he’s become the kind of person I would totally want to hang out with, even if he wasn’t my son.  And for that, I feel immensely blessed.

Although it’s tempting, I don’t take much credit for the way he’s turned out. I’m not saying that in a self-deprecating way—I certainly believe Greg and I have been good enough parents. But I’ve known other great parents who did all (or most of) the right things, too, and their kids got lost along the way. Most of us do our best to love, protect and guide our children, but there are so many factors outside of our control.

Carl Rogers, widely considered as one of the most influential psychologists in American history and the father of “humanistic psychology”, wrote a classic text called, On Becoming a Person. In it, he describes his ideas about what a rich and full life entails. He writes: “This process of the good life is not, I am convinced, a life for the faint-hearted. It involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of one’s potentialities. It involves the courage to be. It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life.”

So here’s to stretching and growing and courage. And here’s to launching our kids out into the world.

May they be safe; may they be healthy; may they be happy; may they be free of suffering.