Leaving the Nest

This is a story about me, my mom, and a doctor that my mom worked with. I apologize for not referencing the story that the doctor tells. I honestly do not know where he got the story/analogy from, but if you know the story and who should be referenced; let me know.

Way back when computers were really becoming a common household item, I graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Technology. I had been interviewing like crazy trying to find a job. It was difficult, but luckily it was very popular for companies to hire employees straight out of college. This was a time period that when someone got a job, they traditionally stuck with the employer until they retired. This practice has changed over the years and more and more people leave companies for “a better job/company”.

I was at home watching my dad iron his clothes in the kitchen and just chatting with him. At that time, there was no TV in the kitchen. I know it was a radical time. 🙂 I still lived at home, but was anxious to find a job. The phone rang and it was the recruiter from Great American life Insurance Company (GALIC) in Cincinnati, OH calling to offer me a junior developer position in the company.

I was ecstatic. I took down the information regarding the job, benefits, and his contact information. I told him that I would call back with in the hour with an answer, but that I wanted to think about it. Basically, that was all front…I just wanted to talk to my dad about the offer.

After talking it over, I decided to take the job. There really wasn’t much question about it; I was just confirming with dad that he felt it was a fair offer as well. Dad had way more experience than a green kid out of college and I knew that. I didn’t want the recruiter to know that’s what I was doing because I wanted to show that I was self-sufficient. So, I called the recruiter back and said that I was going to accept the offer. I received the information as to when my first day would be and where to go.

Once I got off the phone, dad says, “Don’t you think you should call your mom?” Excitedly, I called mom and gave her my awesome news that “I got a JOB!!!!” All I heard was silence on the other end. She finally asked where and how much I’d be making, but was very sad. I told her all the details ignoring the sadness I heard. We hung up and dad took me out to lunch to celebrate. Dads are great about things like that. He was just as sad as mom, but knew how much it meant to me. So he masked his pain to let me enjoy my moment.

I heard this part of the story later on from mom once she knew I was fine in Cincinnati. After mom hung up with me, she broke down crying because I was moving 3 hours away. I grew up an only child, so I was very close with both of my parents. Unfortunately, where I grew up, there just weren’t a lot of jobs at that time in the computer technology field. This was before the tech boom occurred.

Everyone tried to comfort her, but it wasn’t working. They were saying that I would be OK and she’ll come back to visit. All of the standard “make you feel good comments” were doing nothing for mom. Finally, a doctor in the practice came over and gave her a hug and started to tell a story out loud to everyone. He said:

There is this mommy bird and she has 2 little baby birds. She
nurtured the baby birds from the time they were an egg by
protecting the egg from predators and the elements to the time
they were getting ready to leave the nest. The mommy bird loved
her two baby birds with all her heart.

The day finally came where the baby birds were ready to leave
the nest. The mommy bird was very sad, but knew that it was time.
The first baby bird hopped out to a clear place on the limb,
tested her wings a bit, and jumped spreading her wings. The baby
bird flew back up past the mommy bird to show that she could fly
and soared off out of sight. The mommy bird was extremely happy
that her baby bird flew.

Next came her other baby bird who like the first baby hopped out
onto a clear spot on the limb. The little baby bird also checked
her wings, and jumped off the limb and seconds later went SPLAT
onto the ground below.

The doctor then pulled my mom away and asked, “Now do you have a flier? Or is your baby bird going to go SPLAT?” Mom replied that her baby bird was going to soar above everyone else. The doctor then asked “Why are you so sad then when you know that this is the first step to you baby bird soaring. You should be happy for her because you know you have a good egg and a good flier.”

Mom wiped her tears from her eyes and said, “I know you’re right. I have a flier and I should be happy for her.” Mom then went into a patient room with a little baby. As she was working up the physical on the little baby, she said, “You’re never going to leave your mommy for some job, are you?” The doctor she actually worked for started laughing and explained to the patients’ mom what was going on. The patients’ mom immediately gave my mom a hug and told her she understood.

When mom came home, she gave me a hug and told me she was proud of me. Then she suggested that we go out to dinner to celebrate and plan my move to family members’ house that lived in the area. Moms are great too!

So, to all you parents who are letting your kids grow up one way or another…Do you have a Flier or one that will go SPLAT?