The Nest, part 2

Spinning House (adapted from photo by John & Brenda Bendinsky)

Perhaps every parent tries to give their child something they craved as a child. For me, it’s stability. Emotional safely. A place that is a refuge from the plagues and tumult of the world, rather than another component to the madness.

I noticed someone’s garden bird house this spring. It hung from a cord and was in constant motion. It spun clockwise, and then counter-clockwise. And it got me to thinking…do the young birds think the world spins? When they leave the nest, does normal stability feel abnormal? I realized I grew up in a spinning bird house. Love will always feel unstable, even when it stands firm.

I want something for my children: I want to anchor our house to the tree.

Qualities of a good nest:

1. Cozy

2. Safe

3. Warm

4. Comforting

5. Place of learning/preparatory

6. Seasonal/temporary

7. Place of nurture

7. Place where you get good eats

8. Sufficient shelter

What else?

What have you (or would you want to) give to your children that wasn’t in the “nest” you grew up in?

"Safe Neighborhood?" (creative commons photo by Josve05a Flickr)


5 responses to “The Nest, part 2

  1. Great post Lisa. I would like to give my hypothetical children one home with two parents in it. Having come from a divorced family, I never got to have one home with one set of parents. I was always moving from one home to the other. I didn’t have one place where I could just be. I wouldn’t change anything from my own life, but I do want my kids to always have that one place that they can always go to where they’ll find both of their parents.

  2. I have the same experience. I think it’s very destabilizing. Two Thanksgivings, Two Christmases, etc. Plus all the time you miss at events with friends. One is forced to picked the parent over experiencing life normally, OR worse, suffer with the guilt of ditching a parent to have normal social experiences as a youth. Even in the best, and most genial circumstances between the parents, being bounced does not help a child.

    I spent tons of time in the car, traveling. (parents about 60 min apart) I could have probably been fluent in another language with all that wasted time. hahaha.

    HOWEVER, I can pack a weekend bag in 4 minutes! SKILLZ.

    • My parents, too, were divorced. The worst part of the whole experience is that my parents could never put their differences aside for their children. Those effects have been long lasting.
      My father chose not to “deal with” my mother any longer and about three years after their divorce, he no longer picked me up for the weekend visitation.
      My husband and I weathered many a storm in our twenty five years of marriage; but, we have provided a home which provided the stability that I craved growing up.
      God’s plan wants us to be in one marriage; yet, things can happen and divorces occur. I beg anyone in that situation to please remember the children are a gift from God and treasure them. Put the things and angers of the world aside and “ them” as “ created them.”
      Thanks for the post, Lisa

  3. Two things: one I had and wanted to pass on, one I lacked and wanted to provide. First, my dad gave us stability. When I got to seminary (where I was, of course, virtually surrounded by other preachers’ kids), I realized how rare it was that I lived in the same house from age eight to age eighteen and went to the same elementary and high school straight through. I wanted very much to give that to my own sons. And I managed it – only to find out that neither of my boys can stand the town they grew up in or have good memories of their high school.

    Second, my dad did not spend time with us, didn’t hang out. I worked (I think) very hard to do things like go for bike rides, take them to the playground, take them out for breakfast or dinner. With the older one, now married and out on his own, it seems to have “taken.” The younger one, in college and still at home, pretty much can’t stand me.

    Life’s funny, isn’t it? And when I think of the opportunities or challenges I rejected because (at least in part) I didn’t want to disrupt their lives, I hear Luke 14.26 and wonder . . .

    • Forget about the final answer about a kid liking you (or appreciating you) until he’s been on his own-truly out of the house-for at least three years.

      Being a child in a home with 2 loving biological parents, despite the mistakes or problems, is an unfathomable gift a person can give his offspring. One that will likely never be properly appreciated… Like our Grace and Atonement from God?

      I moved around a lot too, and I always wondered what staying in one spot would have done.

      Really enjoyed your response, Doug, and appreciated your honesty as well. Thank you.