Watchful Eyes head image

Watchful Eyes

May 12, 2024

Mrs. Everette Cannings

The sight of birds soaring overhead can be awe-inspiring because they seem to fly with such effortless grace. But much like humans, who are not born knowing how to walk, birds are not born knowing how to fly.

Learning to fly is a process, and it often involves a little trial and error for the young birds because it relies not only on instinct, but also on some practice. Similar to how a baby’s first steps are interrupted with frequent stumbles and falls, birds don’t learn to fly in a day (Toronto Wildlife Centre).

Often, learning to fly means falling from the nest and making the long trip back up to it. Eventually, the fledglings or young birds learn to fly, realizing that falling from the nest is a bit easier if they spread their wings, according to Boston University. Once they learn to spread their wings, flapping them is the next step, and soon, that flapping becomes flight. This is not a moment of grace with which we are accustomed to seeing birds fly. They still have to practice, learn how to take off, learn how to land, and learn to discover how the wind affects flight (Wise Geek reports). With time, though, this all becomes natural.

Fledglings usually begin trying to fly when the birds are about two-weeks-old, and although they have started to leave the nest, they are not on their own, according to the Massachusetts Audubon Society. The parents are typically nearby, keeping a watchful eye on their offspring while still providing food.

I recall witnessing a fledgling fall from its nest and trying to assist, much to the parents’ annoyance. They swooped down into my hair in an attempt to protect and stop my intervention. After running away to protect  myself, it reminded me of some valuable lessons.

Parenting takes time and may involve falls, understanding that some leave before they can fly, and experience consequences, while others master flying after much trial and error. Moms are so able. They always keep a watchful eye, providing wisdom, insight, and genuine care. As moms, we must remain encouraged as we run the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1-3), believing that through trial and error, watchful eyes, and a steady commitment to protect our children, they will fly and prayerfully repeat the process with their children. Don’t become weary in well doing; your season is coming (Galatians 6:9), or if it is here, enjoy the moments as you assist the new birds (grandbabies) to fly!