In the literal sense! Remember our little flighty "neighbors" that brought their new family to our door? We watched the faithful mommy and daddy bird get most of their eggs into furry hatchlings (or whatever baby birds are called), and three little furballs became just like their parents; one by one, they flew away. Since our stairway is right in front of the door, my little one would often ask about the birdies as she went up or down it, and yesterday as she was descending, she asked about them. So I opened the door to look at our last birdie, and we must have scared him into taking the great leap to freedom -- we got to watch him discover his ability to fly! And I didn't get a picture of them all grown up! I always figured I'd have tomorrow. Guess that's why people say the kids all grow up so quickly!
And now we have an empty nest. Kind of. As I took the picture, I saw we have an unhatched egg, and the other unaccounted baby that never made it to flight -- several weeks ago, I noticed a scrawny hatchling hanging outside of the nest, and my husband thought it was alive. Not sure if it was the runt and was taken away or just died, but it didn't hang around too long.
There are many joys and sorrows in each family. Some children never are able to make it to full flight because of physical, emotional, or spiritual obstacles, but many do and we celebrate in that. So congrats especially to those celebrating graduates!
And I'm back to cleaning up this nest and the mess they left behind.