Sadie is annoyed at you again, though you let her sleep in and offered to make her breakfast. But she wants to go out and order from a restaurant, says she can’t stand the options offered, and why do you never want take us out, Mom? She stomps off to the bathroom, but there’s someone in there, and she pounds on the door in frustration. A muffled shout from within, a growl from the hallway, and she stalks off to her bedroom. You turn back to the keyboard, which offers a more welcoming field of possibilities, though your conscience raises its eyebrows at that choice–a vacation of duties? Why aren’t they more thankful, kinder to one another; why do they still no know how to take turns? Your eyes lift and gaze out the windows of the wide dormer overlooking the lake, over which swallows bank and wheel, blue, gray and white. Young ones practicing flight maneuvers. So natural and free, without a worry. No family conflicts or toxic self analysis. She breathes in the pine scented breeze as she followed the fledgelings–now one, now another.
Mother swallow perches in the pine tree and watches her young ones. They will never get it right, she frowns, and flicks her wing tips to cross the other way over her back. Plowing the air ahead of them, frightening the tiny flies away instead of snapping them up, dipping too low over the water and losing momentum. Was the feeding during the fledging insufficient? Not enough of those fatty crickets and too many flies? And what about the training–did they go too quickly from the glide to the dip? She should be out there demonstrating, but she is tired, so tired. She turns to the nest, identifies the places that needed to be reinforced, then looks up at the houses perched above. Those humans, so contented in their beautiful nests, peaceful, well fed, children never starving or pecking at one another, knocking each other out of the nest. She takes a deep breath, lets her eyes trace the silhouette of the houses against the morning sky.