And today the mourning doves finally flew away.
Oh, I wasn't being poetic. We had mourning doves build a nest in our backyard. There's poop everywhere, if you need evidence that I wasn't trying to get all emo on you.
The mourning doves were a neat addition to the first summer in our home. When they first started building a nest in the little nook above the patio, Eric and I thought there might be trouble. I don't know the official mortality rate on baby birds, but I've seen enough cracked eggs to know there's probably no pact with Satan.
A couple of windstorms later, I thought for sure we'd have to do the Death is a Natural Part of Life talk with Lennon, but those little suckers stuck in there, and one morning we woke up to find two extra little heads popping out of the nest. And they even had bodies, so BONUS!
We've been looking out for them for the past week. Every morning we'd say hello, and every night we'd thank them for staying. Just this past Sunday morning, Eric came inside and told me we were one bird short. He had flown (or was pushed... you never can tell with birds) out of the nest, and was perched by the side of the house. Eric, being an animal softie, wanted to intervene. For just a few minutes, he totally lost his senses, and considered building a new nest for the little guy. He would carry it out of the sun, and give it a new home on the other side of the patio. It was cute in its "Tell me 'bout the rabbits" naivety.
Of course he didn't actually do anything. Nature figures it out. And we're pretty sure the fallen bird is okay, because there's no sign of him. If he were attacked by a neighbor cat, episodes of CSI have taught me we'd get a trail of bloody feathers or a semen sample. Nothing. I think he's just a faster learner.
But today Dumb Bird the Dummyhead (her given name, after her brother proved himself the smarter of the set) finally figured it out, and she's gone too. I have to admit, I'm a little broken up about it. I liked knowing our house was doing some good, and I was starting to feel connected to this world on a different level. We didn't go outside and throw rocks at the nest or light anything on fire, and therefore, there are two more mourning doves in this world. We didn't eff it up. Good job, us.
The empty nest syndrome comes on strong. You care for something, and when that something grows up and moves on in the world, when it no longer needs you to watch over it, you're left with a sense of pride, and then a much stronger sense of "Well what I'm supposed to not throw rocks at now?"
I'm pretty sure this is EXACTLY how I'll feel when Lennon goes to kindergarten.