Our poop tree (so named for the scat-like growths) has been a-buzz with activity as of late.  Apparently there has been a Robin family quietly residing in it’s boughs.  Quietly, that is, until recently.  The Robin chicks have reached addolescence and all that comes with it.  There’s the blaring music (or really loud cheeping), reckless driving/flying, and poor choices.  More than one has smacked into our living room window.  Let’s not forget their appearance.  Good night, are they awkward!  Their heads seem abnormally small compared to the size of their beaks, bodies and eyes.  Their chests, soon to be brilliant red, are still mottled with spots while the back of their necks still sport the fluffly down of their infancy.  They are quite a sight to behold and, honestly, I can’t help but feel a little sorry for them. Then I remember that they mercifully don’t have to wear braces or attend high school, so they are probably going to make it out with their self-esteem intact. 

I also can’t help but see a little of my current self in them.

It has been a full month since Mama Syd and Papa Chris left, leaving us to fend for ourselves. Not that we couldn’t do it, but we had had someone  in house to lend a hand since Ellie was 5 weeks old and Chelsey arrived.  Adjusting to life with just the -gulp! – SIX of us was going to be just that: an adjustment.  Mom said as much before she left.

“You know, I don’t think you’ll be going ‘back to normal’ when we leave.  With Ellie here you’re going to be inventing a new normal.” 

That thought has kept me sane.

Things don’t have to – and really shouldn’t – be like they were 4 months ago.  Another person with a unique personality and soul all their own has taken up residence with us. We are all making adjustments for this.  Then there is the dog to boot . . .

It’s just a little overwhelming at times.

In those moments, I feel like the teen-age birds.  I watch them careening in and out the tree, making desperate, flappy landings and empathize.  I feel unsteady, and skittish, like I’m learning how to do things for the first time.  Or at least relearning them.  Like how do you get supper on the table with a fussy baby who only wants to be held?  How do you do laundry, give baths, have a complete thought?  What about schooling?  It all feels familiar yet stiff and I find myself frustrated and feeling like I’m constantly running behind.  There are those moments, too, where I feel like I’ve flown straight into a window . . .

But then I watch those crazy birds. Moments after making contact with the glass,they are back up in the tree .  They blink a few times and then take off again, adjusting their flight to avoid the house.  I remind myself that I can do this, too.  I have no reason to remain grounded.  Soon I will find our new normal and I am sure it will creep when I least expect to find it.

Thankfully, for me and the birds, this awkward stage is just a phase. This, too, shall pass.