Everyone who knows me well knows I feed my crows. The other day I was looking out the window watching my whole crow family attack the stale popcorn I’d thrown out. It was easy to tell the adults from the juveniles. The adults possessed the full crow strut and confidently snagged up the popcorn themselves. The juveniles tried to look like they knew what to do, but as soon as Mom had a kernel in her beak, her ‘child’ was right next to her with its yap wide open. I’d watched this go on all spring and wondered if the youngsters were ever going to go it alone. But as I continued to watch something quite comical happened. Mama crow looked at her progeny and began to slowly pivot until her back was completley turned. Amazing!
The thing about being a mom is – you never stop feeding your youngsters. Later that same day we had a visit from eldest son. I was down on the ground pulling weeds when his big white van zoomed into the driveway. I was happy to see him as he and his family had just returned from vacation, but it wasn’t too long before I knew his true purpose.
“Hey, I’m in search of vegetables,” he said, grinning. “I’ll bet you have lots of red tomatoes.”
Well, we didn’t, but I scrambled up to find what we did have. The garden was doing well and he took off about ten minutes later with potatoes, yellow squash and zucchini, three onions and a couple of cucumbers. And for good measure I threw in three fat zucchini muffins I’d baked the day before. That evening, when went to visit our youngest son and his family, we brought a bag of fresh picked green beans.
How many times have you seen a harried Mom pushing the grocery cart with a half open package of Oreos, animal crackers, or granola bars next to her little one who is riding in the top of the cart munching away? She may only have the empty box to scan at the checkout, but her little crow – uh - child is happy.
When our grandson played on the baseball travel team during the late spring and early summer you would not believe the food those moms packed. Fresh fruit spears, fat meaty sandwiches, cookies and cupcakes, granola bars, various flavors of chips, salad, Twizzlers. One mom even brought homemade biscotti. Bottled water, juice boxes and Capri Suns were all over the place, too. The games usually took several hours and those Mamas didn’t want anyone wasting away.
I guess we just can’t help it. From the minute we become Moms we begin to coddle and nourish. Sometimes this slops over to husbands, friends, relatives and strangers. It’s a good thing, I think. But my mind wanders back to those crows. Mama was trying to teach her baby something. Eventually you have to trust yourself to go it alone. You have to pick your head up, look around and use what you’ve been taught in order to survive. Sad as it is, Mama won’t always be there.
The happy side is . . . while this Mama is alive and kicking she’ll feed her kids, their kids, and the crows. I just can’t help it. And maybe that Mama crow can’t either. When I turned back to the scene in the yard – mere moments later – she was poking a kernel into her bawling baby’s beak. She just couldn’t help it.
These are my thoughts as I contemplate seeing child #2 and his girls who live too far away. I'm packing recipes!
How many ways do you feed others?
Image: Vlado Free Digital Photos