What the heart must have
A word to the wise: do NOT tell your children about the awesome ninja game.

My grandmother used to say "birds in their little nest agree." She was wrong.

A few months ago Raphael and Clay built a birdhouse. They hung it right outside my and Clay's bedroom window, and within a month it had a nesting pair of birds. Don't ask me what kind of birds. I spent a thousand years sitting at the window with my laptop, scrolling through pictures of Colorado birds, trying to figure out what our guests were, exactly. They're those little brown fluttery birds that are everywhere. Sparrows of some sort. LBJs. I suspect I may not be a birder at heart.

We all spent quite some time sitting at the window, watching them flit back and forth, tucking bits of straw and sticks and whatnot into their new home. Raphael was SO PROUD that they had chosen HIS BIRDHOUSE that you would have thought he had personally invented birds. "Bir!" Sophia exclaimed, "Bir! Bir!"

We were all pretty thrilled.

Within a few more weeks they had eggs, and they hatched. At first you could just barely hear the babies, a rustling tweeting whenever a parent returned with some food. Clay, with his moderate hearing loss, couldn't hear them at all.

Now, a few weeks later still, those tiny tweeting birds have grown into two raucous, demanding things. When their mom lands on the perch by their entrance, both of them poke their heads out and positively bellow. You would think that natural selection would reward baby birds who were quiet and unobtrusive, because when you're tiny and defenseless, it behooves one to go unnoticed (life's lessons learned in middle school). But the opposite seems true, because these little guys make an unholy racket. The other day I saw the mom return with an enormous grasshopper. Oh, sister,  I thought, I don't envy you, divvying that up.

This morning the din in the birdhouse (RAPHAEL'S birdhouse) started well before 6 AM. Saturday. Clay rolled over and groaned, "Ugh. Do you want me to close the window?"

But I was smiling to myself.

"No, don't. I like the birds."

I know that racket. And I know why that mom can't stay away. And in just a few hours Clay and I will get in the car, drive a million miles, and bring our own back home. Soon my nest will be full again.

I can't wait to see him, and I can't wait for the noise and demand of everybody back where they should be.

July10 038

Sing it, little birds.

(p.s. Sorry for the picture quality. You might have to embiggen to see the babies. Also, the reason for all the dead vines in the background is because the spring was so wild and wonky that it killed - KILLED all three of my honeysuckle vines! All three! And yet the peach tree is covered with peaches! Explain THAT to me.)

(p.p.s. Tre is coming home!)



Divvying up the grasshopper---ha ha ha!


I know you are ready to have your boy back home. Thinking of his younger sibs all crowded around him, hanging on every shred of a tale he shares...worth the pain!

Julie in Austin

Welcome home Tre! Kira, I am about to trade places with you emotionally. My 15 year old boy is headed out next week - first he is flying ALONE for the first time in his life to San Diego to join his Dad on his business trip to Comicon (my husband is in the game business, and his big comic book video game is coming out this Fall - a teenage boy's dream!) Then Friday evening he flies back (again ALONE as hubby has to stay for the weekend) and THEN we take him to the airport at the butt-crack of dawn on Saturday morning to fly to DC with his Boy Scout Troop for 2 weeks at the National Boy Scout Jamboree. It's a huge deal, and I'm so glad we are able to send him, and I know they will take good care of the boys, BUT I'm a nervous wreck! They will be seeing DC and museums and monuments first for 3 days, then on to the Jamboree itself. He's going to make wonderful memories to last a lifetime, but I won't be able to rest until he's home.

So give Tre a big ole hug from us Austin folks, and enjoy your FULL NEST!!! =)


full nests are awesome! and squabbly...

but mostly AWESOME!


One thing about living in LA - every morning of every day of the year it sounds like an aviary outside of my window. I've gotten used to it and have always rather enjoyed being awakened by the chirping of all the birs and LBJ's. Houseguests from other parts of the country - Denver - don't always find it as soothing. Have fun with your full nest. With love from your empty nest friend.


Oh! And what exactly can kill honeysuckle? I thought it was second only to Kudzu.


Kira, I feel your pain! My little bird just came home two weeks ago after spending nearly three months in Florida with his dad. The house has been way too quiet...and clean.

Pamela L

Welcome home, Tre! I totally love the way you told the story. I love birds and that is such a perfect way to describe what mothers feel. This empter nester envies you -

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