A feather is the picture on today’s ornament. Zimmerman tells the children a story about how young eagles learn to fly. “The mother takes the eaglet upon her wing and flies high above the earth. She shakes the tiny bird off, forcing it to make its first attempt at flying. If she sees her baby in any trouble, she dives beneath it, catches it in her wings, and flies high again to repeat the process.”
I love this image of the mother bird swooping down and catching that falling baby. Even more, I appreciate that she flies up high again and makes the baby give it another try.
We do this with our own children. We let them have a try at the world and when things don’t work out for them, or they get hurt, we swoop down for the rescue.
There is a temptation to just hold that child close to us so that they don’t experience the pain and hardships of life. We need to be more like that mother bird, flying up with the baby on her back, giving it a chance to learn to soar again.
God watches over all of us, quite like the mama bird. He knows that we really do need to learn to make a go of it on our own. He is always close by, ready to take us in his arms if we are falling too fast.
As I hang the feather ornament on the tree, I reflect about my parenting. Do I let my eaglets fly? Do I encourage them to be independent? I also think about the love of God, and how he never leaves me, no matter how steep the plunge feels!