Are these tears happy, sad, prideful, or selfish? I suppose all of these are mixing together to confuse my heart. The first grandchild left the nest today. My emotions say this day is about me and my tears, but there is no truth in those emotions. This is her day. The Fledgling Grandchild is making her mark on the world – starting a career – becoming a lady and leader. I am insignificant in this picture. Indeed, if the Fledgling Grandchild were a painting, I would not even be in it.
The prominent figure in this painting is a young lady who is small and frail in appearance. Ah but appearances are so often deceiving. She is stronger than I ever was as a young woman, middle-aged woman, and now an elderly woman. She has been working out and her body is strong, but she has an inner strength and courage of conviction that I envy. She knows what she wants, and she is going to fledge with fireworks!
Two other women are in the painting – the Mother and Sister. Today their role is supporting the edge of the nest so it is firm for the fledging. They crowd the nest and hold the rim of the nest firm, so the Fledgling is incapable of insecurity or second thoughts. The Fledgling looks back over her shoulder, wondering if maybe she should stay. The Mother has a single tear creeping from her eye and glistening in the sun as it slips onto her cheek. The Sister tries to laugh, saying she is taking the Fledgling’s room, but they know she won’t disturb that shrine. Sister doesn’t know it yet, but the Fledgling will make her own fledge much easier in a few years.
The future is now. The Fledgling flutters her wings one last time before she leaves the nest with a strong swoop of her wings. She flies high and strong towards the top of the trees where the sun shines the brightest. The joy of life is the wind that holds her wings firm and strong.
She will return to the nest one day, but she will never be the Fledgling again.