Mothers are a difficult topic.
Mother’s Day is a difficult day.
Often a day of loss and grieving.
A day that many dissociative survivors don’t want to think about.
Ouch. If only…. If only, if only…..
I’ve been thinking about these things all week, knowing I would / should write something about mothers. Hmmmmm…. I wasn’t sure which angle to talk about….
Then I thought about something that has been happening around here each day.
I’ve been watching some birds again. For several weeks now, I’ve been able to see a very dedicated momma lark and an equally dedicated daddy lark tenderly care for their little three baby birds. This little bird family has sparked great interest, curiosity, and hours of entertainment.
This little feathery family tucked their home deep within some very leafy trees across the street from me. I just had to go over there to see if I could find it!
Their nest, not at all visible unless you meander directly under their tree with the grouping of many of trees, was cleverly built where it stayed the most protected from the cold blowing winds, where it would stay dry during the drenching rain storms, and where it would stay shaded from the heat of the day. I was impressed! The little babies, while having to brave the uncomfortable changes in weather, were clearly as protected as little birdie babies could be. Well done, momma bird!
To my delight, I have been able to see and admire their very busy lives.
All day long, the parent birds have been flying all over the neighborhood, searching for food to bring back to their babies.
All day long, the baby birds have been running around in the grass, chasing their parents around, looking for tasty treats to eat.
And when I say all day long, I literally mean, all day long. From sun up to sun down, someone in this little lark family was searching for food for the babies.
And noisy! These young babies are loud little squawkers!
I was just sure all that racket was coming from a big ol’ crow, or some other big bird, but when I paid closer attention, to my complete surprise, that noise was coming from those little baby birds. My goodness! Noisy little flappers! They are the loudest larks I’ve ever heard!
For the longest time, the baby birds just ran around like little speedy zingers in the grass – ding ding ding ding zing zing zing – running really fast, but just running. Last week, I saw them actually fly up towards their favorite trees. That was exciting. The babies could fly!
I could still see the momma and the daddy bird fly back and forth, searching for food for their babies, delivering it back to them. Once I realized the lark parents were feeding a family, I started leaving more food out for them.
I love my maggies, of course, but now I tried, in particular, to be sure the Larks had food to take to their babies any time they happened to show up on my front door.
These birds were smart.
If I tossed out a piece of cheese to the momma, she would immediately pick it up, grab it in her beak however she could, fly across the street to the babies, and disperse it to her little ones from there. Then she would fly right back to my side of the street – to the exact same spot where she got her cheese – and wait there for me to toss another one down.
And the routine continued.
It seems like hundreds of hunks of cheese have been flown over my street. Along with bits of bread, little tiny pieces of meat, and whatever seeds she selected from the bird seed pile. Clever momma!
Feeding these babies has been a lot of work! Their momma has been so dedicated to them. She hasn’t rested one little bit.
Then another milestone happened.
This past week, the little baby birds were actually allowed to fly across the street too! Momma and Daddy Lark have been trying to show the babies where to find their own food, Instead of feeding them beak to beak, they have been encouraging the babies to pick the food up from the ground themselves.
You would think this would be an obvious thing for the babies to figure out. But no. Not at all. Those three silly baby birds still run around behind their momma just squawking and screeching, wanting their momma to beak-feed them. Bless her heart. She’s showing them how to pick up their food. She knows they need to learn these skills for their survival. They can’t live on home-delivery forever!
On top of that, Momma Lark had to show her babies how to find their food, how to keep their food, and how to eat it safely away from the other birds that would fight them for that same exact bite of food.
I have to admit, my maggies have not been very nice to these little baby larks! My maggies are just sure they are the most important birds around here, and they are the only ones deserving of food from this house. They have not been very keen on sharing, that’s for sure! I have to make sure the maggies have plenty of food too (and they do, believe me!). The timing of feeding the little lark babies is becoming a fine art.
And those huge crows! They are the worst. They’ll steal food from anyone, even chasing and terrorizing the small birds in the air, following them around and around through the trees until they steal the food right from their beaks, or until the smaller birds drop the food for the crows to pick up. Those mean crows. I don’t like them very much.
Momma Lark has a lot to teach her little ones. It’s been tense, and scary on several occasions. Those little babies were clearly going to have to learn how to fight for their own survival. After several days of these “how to safely pick up your own food with your own beak” lessons, I think maybe, just maybe, a few of them are starting to catch on. Slowly.
Momma Lark must be exhausted by now!
Her work isn’t yet done with these young larks, but she’s well on her way. It’s been truly impressive to see.
The phrase “ A mother’s work is never done” came to mind.
And again, I had to think of my own mother. And the many years of “momma work” she has whole-heartedly given to me, including this year as well. I’ll save the details of that story for another time, but I do have to mention her with my deepest respect. The same goes for my momma-in-law. She’s been an absolute gem to me (and my family) for years and years. These two women have shown as much hard work and dedication from their hearts for their families as any Momma Lark ever has. They are incredible women. Beautiful souls. Tough as nails, but gentle as feathers. I can and do learn a lot from them.
I wish all mothers were as dedicated and hard-working as the Momma Lark I have been watching. The world would truly be a better place if we all had that kind of nurturing and protection throughout our lives.
Ever heard the phrase “as happy as a lark”?
Maybe this is why.
To the Momma Larks of the world – I thank you.
Copyright © 2008-2020 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation
We just saw Another stupid mothers day commercial. It make us wAnt to throw up. How about sometime showing what a real mom is like? Like ignoring their kid when the kids is crying in pain all night long or refusing to take them to the doctor or letting bad things happen?
Sometimes i wonder what it would be like if we had a mom that… just cared.
But i cant actually imagine it. It would be too weird. I cant imagine having a mom that loved me?
I hate mothers day.
I have often wondered what we would have been like if we would have had a real mom.
Wendy, I’m sorry for the pain you endured. If you’d had a real mom, you may never have had a need to post on this page. But, parts of you are like a real mom, and you all show kindness to others here. Peace be with you.
OH! So love your story. Put a nice smile and warm glow all over till I stepped away to enjoy the beautiful evening outside. Memories started to flood me once again with how cruel Mother was to our animals. I rather be with animals of all kinds then most humans.
You give Love and they give unconditional Love back. I learn to live and Love through them. They are the reason I live and survive today.
Tomorrow is M-Day. I will call Mother and lie to her for a couple minutes and then get ready as my 2 girls are taking me to paint and swirl class. I numb out (dissociate) as an alter will talk with her. I have great working parts that help me so much through all Holidays, 4 seasons and etc. now but still very draining as I switch a lot. I am learning to ride the waves of painful memories and emotions as it will end. Past years I would end up in the hospital for a month. Today I am able to be less of a victim of my past. Thank GOD for great therapists like you Kathy that wear themselves out helping us to heal. Have a very joyous Mother’s Day (and Grandma Day) !
🙂 There is also a bird family in my neighborhood and I have enjoyed watching the parents bring in worms for the squaking wee ones.
I never wanted kids – never wanted kids to have the life i did – but I have a cat and try to be the best furr-baby mom I can be. I still get disgruntled with him when he meows non-stop while i try to get his food to him in the time he wants it (NOW!!!!), but we’ve been together near 15 years and love each other very much. He teaches me how to be a caring person and I am grateful for that.
Kathy Broady says
Kiyacat and Ksquad…
I have to agree with both of you — there is something about animals that is just so comforting. People have too much reputation of being hurtful, or inappropriate, or devastating, or mean, or, or, or…. there is a long list of words that can be used to describe how difficult people can be. Animals still are full of personality, and are gentler, kinder souls. At least that’s how I see it.
I am sorry your hearts hurt so much.
Sending warm thoughts your way,
i wish i had had a mother lark..maybe i’d be as happy as a lark…still watching those birds sounds so entertaining. we live in an apartment high up, we aren’t allowed pets either. maybe a fish, but fish aren’t very entertaining. we had a hermit crab but it died not long after we brought it home from the beach. we are adopted, but our mom went out tonight. so we are listening to music and reading your blog. we called our real mother, real meaning biological. she didn’t really care to talk to us. it only stung a little but our expectations weren’t too high to begin with. we’ve had a lot of “mothers” but mostly we’ve been left to our own devices. your story reminds me of our favorite book “Stellaluna” maybe we’ll read it tonight and go to bed now. thanks for sharing Kathy. Happy Mother’s Day to you today!