sweet surprise

by Amy

he mowed the lawn.  to do so, he had to move the swing set.  a simple task mr. ballard always does before he tends to that side of the yard, and it is never very exciting.  the slide was not just a slide this time…it was safety.

i woke up as late as i possibly could that morning.  with no kids (thank you gramma & opa), a late night out due to a military ball and church ahead on the schedule, the morning rain drizzle showed exactly the mood i was in.

“look out the window.” he says all nonchalant.  or was there hint of giddy?  it sat there on the ledge of our grill (the scariest place to be if my grown-up life was a form of meat) alone and beautiful.  the squeal of my 8 year old self came out of me at the meer sight.  four little baby birds-to-be.  open to the cold and to the rain and in the bright open.

“there’s four babe!  just like we will have four!” i said.  quietly, almost under my breathe but just enough so he could have room to make fun of me for that being my first thought.

“you are such a nerd.” replies mr. ballard with a sheepish grin that screams “i knew you would say that!”  before you go thinking my prince charming is a jerk, just know that is a term of endearment in his vocabulary.

four baby birds.  just like my little nest.  beautiful little eggs that look like toasted marshmellow flavored jelly bellies, just waiting to be sat on and cared for and opened as spring unfolded.  but where was mother?  he told me the story about how he found them and was uncertain what to do with the nest now that he had moved it.  he wanted to show the kids right away so it could be carefully put back in place lest any damage be done.  i wanted to show the kids too but…what about their mother?  do birds look for their babies if their lost?  you know, send out little Amber Alerts within the forest?  did she just give up and fly off?  would she suffer a devastating depression at the loss of her babies and wonder how life would go on as she folded her wings in prayer?  that poor mama.

i was sympathizing with a mama bird.  almost to tears i was sympathizing with her.  i wanted to scoop up my kids in my arms and pray that nobody ever moves my nest.  and yes, this all happened in the span of about 3.5 seconds.  seriously.

church was rad, God is good and the day continued on.  later that same day, we headed out for a post-birthday dinner with some of our dearest friends.  friend-girl handed me a little shiney red bag that looked as if it was left over from Christmas and had a bright yellow card attached.  patience is not a virtue i own or possibly ever will, so while i waited anxiously for everyone to load in our minivan, i simply stared at the goodie o’ wonder.  the second seat belts clicked, i looked at friend-girl with droopy puppy dog eyes and bluntly asked “can i open it yet?”

four little baby birds-to-be in a silver nest*.   it was the most perfect timing and the most perfect gift.  my own nest with my own little perfect pearl eggs.  my own little nest that i can wear and not keep under a slide and not have anyone move.  four little baby birds.

*necklace purchased on etsy at a retailer LIKE this (exact store unknown)