It’s 5:22 a.m. and I am wide awake sipping strong coffee as I watch the rooftop across the street. The fuzzy brown toddlers race around the obstructions on the roof of the apartment building while ever vigilant momma perches on the ledge and observes. Her fierce devotion to her children is obvious. Day and night, she is there. As a crow drops to the edge, she immediately attacks to scare the predator away from her babies. She clearly demonstrates that messing with her brood would be a very bad idea. Don’t mess with the momma seagull!
I worry when she is not there, knowing at some point she has to go get food for the young ones but fearful that, while she is away, harm will come to them and I may see it happening and be powerless to intervene. I can just see myself on our patio screaming at the top of my lungs at a marauding crow. It could happen. Just as in life, I worry daily about my kids who are off living their lives and I can’t protect them. Stuff happens. You pray.
Being a parent is life-changing and doesn’t end when they grow up. I watch with pride my daughter take care of little Mia who she loves with all her heart and is the focus of all her family’s life decisions. She spends her paycheck ensuring Mia goes to the best pre-school in Boise and every waking moment loving and taking care of her. As I tell my family, I have and always will work hard solely so that I can take care of my family. My daughter now does the same.
One of the three babies is smaller and runs by himself while the other two hang out and waddle around together. I feel bad for the scrawny outcast and want to shout to the siblings to be nice and play with him too. Silly. It’s tough being different in birdland too. I wonder when they will have the strength to leave and know I will miss seeing their antics. It’s a cold, cruel world out there once you leave the roof. If they get to close to the edge and fall, I hope they will have enough wing power to float vs. flop to the ground. Terrifying. When they do leave, will they go far or be local Queen Anne birds? The lure of the sea is close by and the smell of low tide must be enticing.
We did see birds mating on this very rooftop earlier in the year so wonder if this was the same bird who has now brought her babies back to the scene of the crime so to speak–maybe she has fond memories of her time with the daddy.
It’s time for me to get ready to go to work. To take care of my kids. Momma Seagull, have a happy day chasing around those beautiful babies of yours and be safe. Enjoy each and every moment. They grow up too fast and soon will be leaving the roof to fly off and do great things.