BACKYARD BABY ROBINS GIVE KIDS A REAL-LIFE NATURE LESSON
Many summers when my children were young enough that the back yard held hours of enjoyment, we had a tiny problem. Each June, a robin would build a nest on our backyard trellis and lay her eggs. She would incubate them and then raise them right in view of our back door, as we watched her and the daddy robin flap back and forth carrying worms for their babies' mealtimes.
This meant, no driveway basketball, no running through the sprinklers, and quiet family backyard meals on our deck. While my children found all the backyard restrictions a HUGE Bummer, they did not want to scare off the Mommy Robin as even they understand that would mean the babies would not get fed and would not be able to survive.
Having nature impact the everyday gave our family a close-up experience that allowed us to learn about the cycle of life and respect Mother Nature’s gifts even more. The same robin would reappear each June to her nest in our trellis for at least four years, and we were so happy that we made her feel so at home in the nest she built so near ours.
As a writer, I knew this was an experience that has so many life lessons for us all in not only respecting nature but in learning empathy and making compromises. My illustrated chapter book, Oliver's Birthday and the Robin's Nest, shares the story of how making a change, even an unwanted one, can lead to surprises and rewarding results. In this case, we get a front seat to experience the birth of baby robins and watch them grow until they fly away.