A cardinal made a nest in the bamboo outside my bathroom window this summer. Every day I watched the nest. The mama bird sitting on the eggs while the daddy fed her (Yes, ladies! He fed her all day, every day!). The baby birds chirping for food, waiting impatiently for the daddy to feed them (Yes, again! He feeds the babies, too!). I’d see his bright red body suddenly appear and put food in their hungry mouths. I knew when he was about to arrive because the babies would go wild and stick out their necks from the nest. In about 2 weeks, one baby disappeared and the other one was ready to go. It had jumped to a bamboo stalk close to the nest. I figured it would sit there for a few days, trying to build up the courage to leave. It didn’t. Within a day it was gone. The nest is still there, but it is painfully quiet. I had no idea their leaving would bother me so much, but it does. Today I looked at the empty nest and burst into tears.
Then I realized why. Today is Tess’s 7th birthday and in 3 weeks Arden will celebrate her 10th. Sigh. I’m always sentimental when their birthdays come around. Summer birthdays lend themselves to this. We spend a lot of time together in the summer. It’s like a transition phase for us. Their birthdays remind me that the time we have as a family of 4 is fleeting. Before I know it, they will graduate, go to college, and maybe start families of their own. They will jump from the nest to the bamboo stalk, and then gone. That’s how fast it goes.
I cannot stop the passage of time, but I can photograph it. That’s why I do. You should, too! Whether it’s hiring a professional or doing it yourself, just do it! I did not photograph the cardinal birds outside my bathroom window, and I wish I had to remember how much joy they gave me this summer. But I did photograph the girls, and I’m so relieved that I did.
Happy birthday, Tess! Arden, the double digits are coming next month on August 14. . .