Ostensibly, when a chick flies the nest, the nest should feel bigger. More expansive. But with two gone and one prepping to fly away tomorrow, our nest feels like it’s shrinking. Folding in on itself, like Origami; changing shape without changing foundation. The universe condensing around echoes of memory that grow louder, and keener with time.
Wise cracks and riotous laughter; sarcasm, shouts, and flashes of anger. Swells of pride, hearts bruised by lies. First loves. Lost loves. Dandelion bouquets. Temper tantrums. Dirty socks under the bed. Friends and sleepovers. Gap-toothed grins pinned to the fridge. Soured, crusted milk cups tossed in the trash bin. Overflowing laundry hamper. Shrieks. Sobs. Rainy-day cards in the camper.
Snowboard mishaps. Snakes slithering free in the basement. Pigtails. Buzzcuts. Sunburn. Broken noses and collarbones. Stitches. Shattered teeth. Lil’ Tykes and Tonka toys. Dating boys. Cheerios melded to the tray. Pizza and ice-cream cake birthdays. Board games and cards. KD and hotdogs. Sluicing sand from butt cracks. Mosquito bites. Hard rules. Warm baths. Trampoline nights under the stars. Endless days. Years that fly too fast. Summers that end too soon. The witching hour. Bogeyman under the bed. Disney on TV. Holding them close. Wiping their tears. Picking them up. Letting them go. Saying goodbye. Off they fly.
Taking a piece of your aching heart with them.
Nothing is worth more than this day.~Johann von Goethe