Posted by: Jim E | April 20, 2012

Moms And Dads…Kind Of Important…In Bluebirds And People…

Our Bluebird house on our fence in the courtyard has fledged its first batch of birds into nature just a couple of weeks ago…and already Mom and Dad Bluebird have already set up housekeeping for the second time…in fact we checked a few days ago and there were 3 eggs in the nest…and two days ago, Judie took a picture just after Mrs. Bluebird left the house…and now there are 5…and here’s the proof in pictures…first the female peeks her head out and leaves…they do that after sitting, or is it setting, on the eggs for 45 minutes or so…then she leaves, maybe to eat or just take a break…and then she returns to sit, or set, for another 45 minutes…and it starts over again…

In nature, when watching closely enough, we see how important a Mom and a Dad are…in fact when watching Bluebirds as we have done for many years…we have found them both committed to the process of raising another generation of young…from mating, to building the nest, to watching over the nest, to feeding the young…both male and female are involved…now, not all birds are like this but Bluebirds are and to me it seems to mimic what people do…in fact with Bluebirds, after the young are fledged, they are not on their own…the Mom and Dad may still feed them for a period of time and the fledglings may help with the next batch of Bluebirds that come along…Bluebirds, like in our backyard, may have two or more batches of young in one season…and this year they may use our birdhouse for more than two…we will see…and though predation is real, and we saw it happen last year, we hope to send out 8 or maybe more into nature this year…they are a beautiful bird and so fun to watch…and just think, a few decades ago, people thought Bluebirds were becoming extinct…thanks to Bluebird houses that fear has been lessened…

As Judie and I watch the Bluebirds, here and there, this spring and even over the years…they have really been a picture of what families are suppose to be…in general now, don’t get me wrong, humans are a whole lot more complicated than birds are…at least in the sense I am talking about…but they do show how parents are suppose to act…taking care of the young, providing for them…providing a home that is protected as much as possible from outside intruders…teaching them to use the abilities they were born with, and encourage them to finally try to use those abilities whenever, wherever necessary and possible…and finally turning them loose into the world…

Children, of course are a whole lot more complex…it takes much longer to mature and longer to be prepared to get out on their own…and the roles of a Mom and Dad in people are not inbred…they must be learned…birds “just” do what is required, they are “hard wired” to their roles…in the Bluebird world, we don’t have fathers who don’t do their part in raising the young, as we sometime do in people…I think learning to be a father or mother is mostly learned from our fathers or mothers…and when one is not there, it becomes more difficult…the one lucky thing is that people can learn…they can see what others do and copy…or read a book, or take a class…

Without belaboring the point any more…I remember one learning situation I had when I was young…my Dad was mostly missing in our home for my older brother and I…I think he was at home more for my younger brother but missing most of my growing up years…I haven’t spent much time wondering why all that happened…but I suppose coming back from WWII and all that was about…young men going off to a war far away…scared to death most of time but trying to be “men”…and coming back to a world that didn’t understand them or what they went through…then spending more time with alcohol than with making a life for themselves…I knew all kinds of men like that…and my Dad was one of them…

I think he wanted to be a good father but he didn’t really know how…so he left the rearing of the kids to my Mom…okay…let me get to the situation I talked about…I remember so well, my Mom was one of the greatest mothers anyone could have…she did far more than anyone should…she would encourage my Dad to do more with his boys…mostly, he never came home from work, he spent those hours “up at the beer joint”…the Valley Inn, it was officially called…but the beer joint to us…he usually didn’t come home until late at night…Mom would warm up his supper and he would sit and talk about work or whatever until finally she would just go to bed…but my Mom didn’t give up…she would talk him into taking us to a ballgame after work or doing something else with us…

After she got him to promise to come home and take us and remind him in the morning…she would have my brother, Jack and me, at the door ready to go…we would wait for him to come home time after time, until finally again, he didn’t come home until very late…and Mom would set it up again another night…this happened time after time…after promises that he would “really be there”…he would be a no-show…when I asked Jack about this a few years ago…seeing if he remembered it the same as me…Oh, yes he remembered…but he said he gave up long before I did…”standing by the door”…the last time I remember this happening and Dad not coming home…Mom had “had it”…she took me by the hand and marched me up the street…had me stand on the corner and told me to wait…and a short, very short, time later…there was my Mom…and had my Dad by the arm, “chewing him out”….my Mom would never go into that beer joint, she hated it so much, but that time she put that aside and gave my Dad “the what-for”…but you know, she never had me wait for him ever again…

Now why do I tell that story???…I tell it because I want you to know about the last time I saw my Dad…that was years later, almost 50 years…in between, we had a father/son relationship, albeit difficult…that night we were called back to the hospital…he had just died…they had him and his room all cleaned up…he was lying in the hospital bed…I went up to him, touched him and I told him I loved him…and told him something I don’t know if even I understand…I said, “Dad, we made it through.”…I kissed him on his forehead…and left him to God…

All during those sometimes torturous years, in between…I realized that Dad really loved us boys…but he was a result of his upbringing and his experiences…all of us are…and though he never told us he loved us, never verbally…we knew he did…to some that may be just wishful thinking…I, on the other hand, say it is healthy thinking…it helped me to love and honor him as my Father, all his days…I still do…there is a good reason…the Bible tells us to honor our Fathers and Mothers…its good advice…it has helped me to know…that despite all our good intentions, all of us make mistakes that affect our kids…and everyone of us takes baggage into our adult lives…all of these effect our parenting…it did with my Dad and it has with me…I tried to learn from mistakes my Dad made…but I know I have made some of my own…I hope my kids will learn what I learned so many years ago…

 

 

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Responses

  1. Thanks Jim………my heart goes out to you. I understand your pain. Yours was your relationship with your father. Mine has been with my mom. Thanks for sharing. We all do the best we can I think. I am glad for the everlasting arms that will comfort us one day and wipe away all tears. Best to you this evening. Lisa

    • Lisa…my Dad was a “tough nut to crack” but there were many good times too…and though we never knew what we were going to get, on any particular visit…yet I never allowed that rough exterior to stop me from loving him and in the end of his and my Mom’s life, for Judie and I to be the “caretakers” of them both right up until they died…looking back, both Judie and I are happy we did just that…it wasn’t always easy nor a good time, as you can imagine, but worth our time…thanks for your comment…and I hope you have made your peace with your Mom, at least in your own heart…it can be rough I know…and piggybacking on your comment, Elizabeth Elliot’s comment was always: “God loves us with an everlasting love and underneath are the everlasting arms.”…thanks again…Jim E

  2. Wonderful story, Jim. Many of us can relate very well to this. Thanks for sharing!

    • W.S….thanks for the comment…and the visit…Jim E


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