A few weeks back, a plump little robin set-up shop to raise her brood on my back fence.
She and I have had a few run-ins the past few weeks, mainly when I’m taking out the recycling or garbage. As I carefully opened the gate, she’d fly just a few feet away from her nest, keeping a close eye on me. I would reassure her, I’m just taking out the trash, lady. I would never hurt your nest or your babies.
My husband wanted to destroy the nest, but I told him it was bad karma. No way.
Well, this morning when I let my dog out, I stepped outside. The sun was shining, and the air was a perfect mix of comfort and cool, which I needed after a night of hot flashes and restless sleep. I woke far earlier than my family, and wanted to steal a few minutes writing before the house erupts with noise and children and the smell of Sunday breakfast. Suddenly, like it was out of a movie, a gigantic crow flew over my head and landed on that gate.
He crept slowly toward the nest, snatched one of the robin’s eggs, and flew away. I stood there helpless and horrified. On Mother’s Day, no less.
It was nature’s way of saying, yes: shit happens. Even to the best and most dedicated mothers. Even to the most vulnerable and unsuspecting.
The rise in autism numbers again last month gives me pause. It’s been quiet here at the blog, because I’ve considered shutting down this site, as life as changed and my time has changed. This space has been both a journey and a destination for me. I see the paths we have taken, and I know my family is here to serve others. My honesty is my gift to any family that happens to stumble upon my words. If I don’t share the joy and the pain, who will? I know a few special needs bloggers helped me in the early days, and I hope to be that to a select few.
Like that crow, our modern life and environment steals children away from what should have been: a perfectly normal, healthy childhood. It just digs deeper in me with each child I know personally who is affected. It’s not just autism-it’s asthma, allergies, ADHD, childhood cancer, speech delays and other developmental problems. It’s 1 in 2 kids now, who are affected by developmental issues. Almost every family I know has a kid with SOMETHING.
Rather than let that damn crow get the best of me and all of us, let us celebrate what is, rather than pining for what could have, should have been.
We cannot control what happens to us in life, in motherhood. We can only control our reaction.
This year, I’m finally gaining control of that reaction, and drinking in every moment with gratitude and grace.