Another teenager behind the wheel
Leada Gore, Editor
As of last year, a family of birds has made our windowsill their home. Last year, we watched two sets of birds hatch at our window nest. Some people said we should take the nest down or birds wouldn't return, but apparently our home nest is comfortable. About a month ago, we noticed activity again at the nest and soon there were four, small blue eggs at the bottom.
We kept an eye on it and saw Mama Bird flying in and out often. There was another bird, too, who hung around the nest. We assumed this was the father, as he had several worry lines developing around his beak.
Soon, the birds were born. Newborn birds are not pretty. They are small and covered in fur and their eyes are sealed. They grow quickly, however, and before we knew it, the baby birds filled up the nest.
We could sit at our window and watch them as they craned their necks to the sky, waiting for their parents to plop a worm down their throats. They quickly grew feathers and you could see them standing in the nest and stretching their wings.
Before we knew it, we looked at the nest one day and they were gone. Our bird family had flown away, another chapter in the cycle of life.
I thought about those birds last weekend when Greg called to say his son, 16-year-old Derek, would be driving to our house by himself.
"Are you sure that's OK?," I asked.
"Well, I'm going to follow him," Greg said.
I wasn't sure how this would help, but didn't want to argue. If Greg wanted to ride behind Derek, he had every right to.
Derek made it to our house without a hitch. The next morning, he woke up and drove himself to swim practice and then met his dad at a local store to have a stereo put in his car.
Then, he sat through a talk from me about how you can't talk on the cell phone or switch radio stations while driving.
Greg and I were standing in the driveway Sunday evening when Derek drove off again. His dad – who didn't follow him this time – was a nervous wreck until he got that call that he'd made it safely to his destination.
"It scares me to death," Greg said after Derek managed to back out of the driveway accident free.
"I know it does," I said. "But he has to grow up sometime. He will be careful."
I don't know how the Bird family managed their young ones growing up and leaving the nest, but I know it's been hard on us.
And while I'm sure Mama Bird was nervous watching her brood fly away, I can tell you it can't be any more nerve racking than watching a 16-year-old drive off on his own.