5.23.2011

For the Birds


Just last week, I was out making my morning flower pot watering rounds, when out of nowhere a small brown bird shot out of the hanging basket.  Well, after I had recovered from the aerial raid, I snuck up on a stool to investigate.
Sure enough, there was a small little nest smack dab in the middle of my petunias, with 5 small grey speckled eggs sitting quietly inside.  I'll admit at first I was a little worried that all of the noise and chaos that goes on around my house would scare the momma bird away.  However, it seems nothing we do outside bothers momma enough to  leave.

Tonight, as I spent the evening forcing quadratic equations down my sons throat, my thoughts drifted back to momma bird.  As we factored polynomials and solved for x, y and z, I found myself thinking how much my current situation resembled the bird in my own backyard.  I sat and chewed and ground Algebra I to a pulp, helping my son to digest every little equation he could possibly come across.  Oh! How I wanted to get up and fly away!  But no matter how many times I heard, "I'll never use this in real life." or how many text messages interrupted our study session, I sat there on my little bird.

I wonder does momma bird ever just want to get up off of her eggs and take off?  Is she grateful for the noise and the chance to escape her instinctual solitary confinement? Given a pair of coordinates can she calculate the slope of the line that bisects those points?

I'll be the first to admit, he probably will never need to solve or graph a quadratic equation on a daily basis.  I like to think, that while he will never need the actual math equation, that I am equipping him with skills, problem solving techniques that will assist him in the "real world."

As parents we hope and pray we are doing what is right for our children.  We sit on them.  We force all matter of things down there throats.  And they fight back and poo all over our nests.  Is it instinct or survival?  My husband and I have an ongoing joke about our parenting skills.  We get through the frustrating times by telling ourselves,"If our kids are going to need therapy anyway when they grow up.  At least we can make it worth their dollar."

In the end Mark and I fought, argued and pushed each other's buttons.  I went for a walk.  He went to bed without his cell phone.  Have I given him enough to help him pass his End of Course Exam?  Have I given him too much? Will this be just another of the therapy sessions he is forced to pay for when he is older?

 I hate being the "bad"guy.  As I walked around the neighborhood, I realized I am neither "bad or good."  I have given my little bird all that I have in the hopes he is prepared to face the world. I also realize that I face the same conundrum facing momma bird.  How do I know when they are ready to fly solo? Sometimes, like the momma bird, you have to get up and leave, hoping that you have given your little bird all that they need to fly.
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