When I was a little girl, each spring my Dad and I would race to see who would spot a robin first. Even back in the 1960s, Wisconsin’s state bird was considered the first reliable sign that garden soil would be warming up soon.
But it took moving to Ohio to experience this.
My springtime dilemma began quietly one very early April morning, as I walked past my stone Bird Man sculpture. I glimpsed swathes of brown, a chalky brown mud painted in the base of the cup. Thus began my family’s up close encounter with the robins, a bird’s eye version of parenting and how do I plant my garden with this here?
First, there were three blue eggs. We were sad the day we found one had fallen into the garden below.
There was the chirping, a lot of insensate unending baby-bird talk. And, grown up robins yelling at us.
There were the days we worried from our front window, as one of the robins sat on the nest during thunderstorms. Or, when one parked in a nearby tree as the other took turns with the babies.
Then the babies got ready to fly away. But we later saw them on the ground hopping around the house, trying to figure, “What do I do now?”
Then the robins were gone. We missed them already, it was so quite, no chirping.