“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body”. Elizabeth Stone
As I’ve written in previous blogs, when I was growing up, we raised chickens throughout the summer to eat during the winter; however, we would keep some of our chickens to provide us with eggs. They were later called hens. The hens would lay an egg every couple of days, and we would collect a good amount daily until what our daddy called “to steal a nest away” happened. That is when some of the hens stopped laying eggs in the usual nests and each one secretly made another nest. After three or four days with only a few eggs in the usual nests, our daddy would send us to carefully follow the hens to find their hidden nests. Sometimes we found them; sometimes we didn’t.
To steal a nest away is a psychological and behavioral change that happens to some hens in the spring. They lay eggs in a secret nest for the purpose of hatching them into baby chick. When the nest is full, the heninstinctively starts sitting on them. She briefly leaves the nest each day only to eat and drink, This process is call incubation, which requires the right climate – spring time, the right temperature – her body heat, and right amount of time approximately 21 days. Then, they hatch and suddenly we’d see her with 5, 6 or 7 little ones following close behind her as she walked across the yard from her hidden nest; the one we couldn’t find.
We all know one of the characteristics of a chicken is fear. We tease each other by saying, “Don’t be scared like a chicken.”But when it comes to protecting her little ones, she is not afraid, and she knows how to put up a fight. Ask me how I know! Even Jesus admired the chicken’s protective behavior when he said in Matthew’s gospel, “I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.” It’s a lesson some parents could learn from a chicken.
That’s the chicken’s world. What does “to steal a nest away” look like in our world? We are to provide a spring-like climate in our homes all season for our children with plenty of sunshine and showers of love; and a warm and safe environment, free from any and all abuse and inappropriate behavior, including relatives and friends who live in or visit our home. We have to I.N.P.U.T into our kids! That acronym means to Instruct Nurture Provide Understand and Teach. That requires being present and spending quality time with them; even if we don’t live in the same house, city or even state with them. With all-access to the social media, cell phones, email and so on, we can be in constant contact with our kids on a daily basis. But, of course, nothing takes the place of been face-to-face with our young. That’s another lesson from a chicken.
For those parents who have consciously chosen not to “to steal a nest away” for their kids, there is yet another lesson: Laying egg is what chickens do, but in the right season, they go through a psychological and behavioral change and it’s not just about laying egg any more. It’s about producing offspring and caring for them. I guess for some parents, they haven’t gone through the psychological and behavioral change, and to them it’s still all about just “laying eggs.” I hope you catch my meaning.
As I mentioned, there’s a name change. Although she’s still a chicken, she’s called a hen. When we become parents, our names change, as well. We are still people, woman and man. But, now, we are called Mommy and Daddy. Even so, some parents have the name, but haven’t made the psychological and behavioral change necessary to birth, nurture and raise children. For them, they still have a lot to learn. And they could even learn those lessons from a chicken.
© Copyright 2014 Glen Warren/Fathers Forever All Rights Reserved