Our Bird Dad on Father’s Day

Good dads usually work hard. That seems true of most species. Our Father’s Day has a little different perspective this year. Jim and I still miss our dads, and we are grateful that our sons are now dads. Grandkids are AWESOME! But this year there is a new “dad” in our family. It helped to build a nest on our patio, and our mess is his gain.

I spent some time on the internet, hoping that the mess on my patio had been produced by an exotic Texas bird. Instead I found that a barn swallow is among the most common type of bird in our country. There are literally millions of them and now there are four more. We saw the nest a few weeks ago and considered removing it before things progressed any further. But, it was Mother’s Day weekend and that just seemed like a wrong thing to do. A few weeks later, I’m not sure.

The babies have hatched and their mouths are open, chirping and ready to eat all the time. According to the internet (so it MUST be true), the mom does most of the feeding while the dad guards the nest. Our Bird Dad is good at his job. We have missed the best month of the year for sitting on our patio! I just wanted to enjoy a cup of coffee in my favorite patio chair and that Bird Dad was swooping, squawking, and acting like I was a bird-killer. Considering my earlier statement, he might be a decent judge of character.

Barn swallows mate for life and tend to return each year to build a nest. I’m announcing a change of plans for those birds right now! I will have one year of grace for the new family and then be diligent to “suggest” a new home next year. But, the noisy, messy nest does give me some ideas for a Father’s Day blog.

I won’t discuss the nesting rituals of the barn swallow. You can google that for yourself. Suffice it to say, our Bird Dad has a lot to be proud of. He has not left our patio except to quickly chase something or get something to eat. He is faithful to his wife and to his offspring. I imagine I will watch him carefully as he guards those little ones while they are learning how to fly.

Dads work hard to provide, protect, and prosper their families. I’m glad there is a day to celebrate all they do. It is hard work to help our children survive, thrive and eventually leave the nest. There are a million barn swallows in the world but, right now but there are only four that occupy our Bird Dad’s time. If all goes well, the little ones will fly off and become moms and dads too one day.

There are millions of people in this world, but there are only a few that will hold the highest priority for a dad. Like our bird family, most of our families also make a mess of things on occasion. But, one day they leave, we clean up, and we enjoy coffee on the patio. And truthfully, we kind of miss the mess.

Maybe I’ll see the Bird Dad again next year. But hopefully, I’ll watch him from my neighbor’s patio instead of my own!

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads who work hard to protect and provide for their families. I’m glad there is a day to celebrate you and tell you we are grateful you have been the man God has called you to be. (Even if you do tend to be a little messy sometimes!) “Dad” is the most important title God has bestowed on you. Pray and ask God to help you be worthy of your calling. Your heavenly Dad is perfectly willing to answer.

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up
in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)

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