Letting Them Fly

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Bald Eagles in a tree, parent and fledgling ready to fly.

The bald eagle raises its young in very tall trees. When the fledglings grow they start jumping from one limb to another. Then one day, the parent eagle pushes them out of the tree, they have to learn to fly. While the young eagle is learning to fly, they also start learning to hunt for food. I have seen parent eagles take their young to the lake. The eagle float above the water, then dives, totally submersed below the surface, only through violent splashes of wings gains altitude with a fish in its claws. To a tree branch with their meal, only the parent eagles no longer share with the young, the young must learn to hunt. After several clumsy dives and resurfacing, the young eagles have a fish. They have successfully hunted.

I love motherhood. I would be so excited discovering I was pregnant. This little person developing and growing inside, totally dependent on me, and we are totally connected. I would have what my doctor and I called the “pregnancy flu” as morning sickness was all day and all night for twelve weeks. Then smooth sailing until about month 7 or 8 when their constant “rumbles” would make my ribcage sore. But I truly love being a mother.

Then the day would come, I would go into labor. I choose to deliver without any pain medications at all, nothing. I am over sensitive to medications, any type of pain relief puts me to sleep. I wanted to be awake for the birth of my baby. With each contraction I was one contraction closer to seeing the eyes of the little one I have been cherishing for nine months. Yes, that was my focus during labor.

I would say nothing during the labor, except “I think it is time to push.” My doctor did not like “silent mothers” as he could not tell how close the birth was without examining. He did not like to disturb a mother in labor, unless he had to. When I would say, ” I think it is time to push.” he would get ready to catch the baby. Once the baby was delivered, the doctor placed he or she directly into my arms, “Good job mom, now clean him or her up.” No nurses touched my babies first, I had the joy of being the first person my little one’s eyes saw, the first one to touch and clean them up. The greatest joy and most precious memory is looking into my child’s eyes for the very first time.

They were no longer totally connected to me. Although they were dependent for food and care, they were now in the world and separated from the warmth and protection my body gave them. I had to let go a tiny bit, so they could learn to fly.

I am amused and giggle when I hear a first time parent say, ” I can’t wait for little Sally to learn to walk.” I tell them to cherish the time they are not mobile, as that is the easiest stage of life, you can find them. But babies grow and soon they are mobile, first crawling, then walking and running. I had to search for my busy little children. They loved to learn and explore, as well play their favorite game, hide and make mom seek. I had to let go a little bit more, so they could learn to fly.

When they started kindergarten, I cried for a week. In a blink of an eye they were going to school. Where had the time gone? They were excited going to school, meeting new friends and learning. I had to reluctantly let go some more, so they could learn to fly.

Then came basketball games, volleyball games, band concerts, choir performances and theater productions. Trips won by art contests. A flurry of excitement, and the starting of dating, loves and heart break. With four children, I felt more like a taxi driver than a parent. They spent more time with their interests than they spent with me. Still I had to let go of them a little more, seemed I did not have much left to hold onto, but they needed to learn to fly.

Graduation, when did they get that old? The time flew by making the years feel like a few days. Off to college or starting a life of their own. I had to fight myself to let them totally go, as they had learned to fly. Where they soar to is their choice, their destination and their destiny.

As parents, we have a few short years to guide and teach our children to make wise and good choices. Each accomplishment we celebrate with joy, but we also are letting go a little more, as they are learning to fly.

All my children have flown. We are still connected by heart bond, so I am not totally alone. I now watch as my children learn to let their children go, as my grandchildren learn to fly.

amtolle

My Favorite Part

Bloganuary #26 What is your favorite part about yourself?

Time marches onward. We are born. We grow. We age. We die. The process every living thing goes through.

When going through old photos of my much younger years, I was quite the beauty, although at the time I did not think so. My long black hair with highlights caused by the sun, now has speckling of silver well earned. Grey hair is a sign of wisdom I was taught, I know I have more wisdom than my hair shows…lol. I have small wrinkles, and age spots probably due to the sun. I have put on some weight after birthing four children.

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An old Native American proverb is we have two wolves inside us, a good wolf and an evil wolf. Each decision and word is feeding a wolf. The people around us see which wolf we feed.

But my most favorite part I have since I was young, a good heart. I look for the best in people. I like to help others learn and succeed. No matter what life has thrown at me, I will search and find the silver lining. I look for rainbows to enjoy the color. Indeed I do have a sense of humor, I may not get your jokes or sense of humor all the time, but I laugh when I do.

Our outward appearance changes daily, watch a baby grow up and you will see. But the inward person, the one without your appearance, is who you truly are.

I strive to feed the good wolf.

amotle

How does anyone live here?

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I lived between two extremes. The small town of Cortez, Colorado is located on the edge of the desert and San Juan mountains. I was a five minute drive to either extreme.

In 2009 I met my wonderful husband. Shortly after our marriage his job transferred him to north central Texas. I was excited to move to a new state and a new area, only I did not know how different it would be from the area I grew up in and lived in my whole life.

I enjoy many hobbies or activities. I garden. I love the feel of dirt touching my hands and fingers, moving the soil to cover seeds or roots. Garden soil smells good and life. I plant vegetables, flowers and herbs. I prepare and store the food that has grown by freezing or canning. Growing a garden is a part of who I am, the same with raising livestock. I just really love to grow plants and animals, watching them thrive and grow brings satisfaction to my inward self.

The place I live in Texas.

Where we relocated to in North Central Texas near Dallas/Fort Worth is green, lots of trees, bushes and vines. The winters are moderate with a week or two of freezing temperatures. The summers are hot and humid. The amount of plant growth was amazing to me, if plants grow like this without assistance, what would my garden be like. I imagined green plants, huge over size fruit and a vast number of fruit per plant. We moved in November, I planted my first garden in the first part of May.

The grass, weeds, vines and every other plant grows well without human assistance. I tilled up an area for my garden, I planted the seeds and plants. I watered it. Then I would pull weeds and unwanted plant growth every day. But, the grass, coastal grass, it grows under the ground, on top of the ground in long vine like tentacles. You can pull out of the ground, leave it on cement and if water gets to the grass it will grow on top of the cement until it finds dirt. Not through the cement but on top of cement. Those vine like tentacles would grow up my plants and weigh them down. My first garden there were no huge fruits, I had no fruits. There were no thriving plants….just coastal grass and weak garden plants. I grew beautiful gardens in a desert area, and I could not even get a plant to survive in a place with abundant plant growth. Frustration for sure set in.

Another very different change a I had to make was going outside barefoot. There is a phrase” In Texas it will bite you, sting you or stick you.” The phrase is so very true. The first time I stepped out with no shoes on, my foot soul was greeted with multiple sharp painful pricks. There are many plants with stickers. I looked at the ground to find out what plants the stickers came from and what to my amazing eye appear…… the ground was moving, literally with millions of insects. I learned the hard way to spray the ground I like to sit on with insect killer. I went to sit on the ground with my dog and play with her, I was covered in fleas.

I love to sit outside to think, meditate and just chill. Outside is the best place to be. One day I am sitting in the chair outside enjoying my morning coffee and suddenly a thud of something landing on the ground four feet in front of me. A black snake fell out of the tree. No more sitting under the trees.

I had moved to a place where the grass takes over everything, insects and spiders are everywhere, and snakes fall out of trees. I am terrified of snakes. ( on another blog I will share my Marilyn Monroe Moment in Texas). I was frustrated and unnerved the first year with all the challenges of Texas.

I do not give up easily. I read about coastal grass. Coastal grass is not native to the North American , it was brought into Texas for erosion control. They sprig plant coastal grass here. Which means they pull up the grass plant with a machine, let the sprigs dry, then spread, not till, just spread on top of the ground before it rains and it grows. With fertilization it provides a nutritious pasture and hay for livestock. I can raise ten times the number of animals per acre in Texas than I can in Colorado. I raise 50 head of ewes on twelve acres. This has a real benefit to me as a sheep farmer, my occupation.

I learned a new way to grow a garden using containers and raised garden beds. I still have to pull coastal out of my planters and raised garden beds, but I can stay ahead of the coastal grass. We have to treat the yard living area with herbicides for the stickers and insecticides for the insects. The dogs get regular flea bathes. I do not go barefoot outside anymore.

The first few years I hated our move to Texas. But I am not one to give up. I learned how to do things differently. I looked for the positive in the area. Such as I do not break ice twice a day on the water troughs for the livestock for four to five months. I can grow flowers and plants I only dreamed of having. I can have a garden ten months out of the year.

I overcame the frustration with education on what was frustrating me, such as coastal grass. And focused on what I gained, the milder winters and gardening ten months a year instead of four.

My game plan for any challenge is to identify the challenge, educate myself about what the challenge is and form a plan to have the challenge work to my advantage.

Amtolle