Fly, birdies, fly away

cardinal-nest-photoI don’t have children so I’m unfamiliar with what it’s like to push those I dearly love and have protected for years out of the nest. I don’t understand the apprehension, loneliness, and heartache parents experience when their kids set out on their own for college, careers, and marriage.

But then again, as an author, maybe I do. Last fall, I sent my three oldest kids—Drew, Allison and Chris—into the intimidating literary world. Tearfully (really!) I relinquished them to my publisher who prepped them and launched them on their way. I’ve had sleepless nights: Was it too soon? Had I done enough to ensure they’d survive on their own? Would they eventually achieve success, or run back home to hide in the basement?

I’ve become a possessive and restless mother lion wanting to protect her cubs from bad reviews, poor sales, and getting along in a jungle full of other cubs. They might be rebuffed, ridiculed, or worse yet, recycled!

I miss getting inside my kids’ brains to see what makes them tick, and being a part of their daily lives to share their joys and console them when they hurt. I no longer have the opportunity to shape their characters, find solutions to their problems, or offer them advice.

I had to spend a lot of time and energy disciplining one of my kids, Chris, so hopefully he’s learned something and will keep on the straight and narrow. The other two, Drew and Allison, have been through a lot of sadness and scary times, but I’ve seen their strength and know they will do well on their own. I’ve been relieved to hear early reports that all three are finding their way. Maybe all that work—a labor of love—is paying off. I look forward to see what they do with their futures.

Now I need to focus on the other kids. Ivy is the most mature, but then girls do mature faster than boys. Hannah and Nathan are dealing with baggage from previous relationships so I’m waiting for them to lighten their loads. Micah and Lindsey are the youngest and need special nurturing, which take time. And Renee is a twinkle in my eye who I know has great potential—once I figure out what that potential is.

So, yes, I feel like a parent who has let her birds leave the nest. The only thing I can do for my “triplets” is to keep praying that God will bless them and bless the people they meet along the way.



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