Birds

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Children are birds. We keep them in cages as they grow so that nothing and no one can damage their delicate wings. They are fed and nurtured with tender fingers so their hollow bones may be good and strong to fly against the vapid, turbulent winds of the world. We teach them how to fly and how to survive on their own, so one day when our tender fingers can’t pick them up anymore, they can fly up until the sun becomes nothing more than a halo behind their goldenrod ears. 
As we keep them in their cages, we learn how much we love them, and their silky feathers mesmerize our hearts. Years slip by and it becomes our greatest fear that once they outgrow their metal cages, they will leave us behind like lost toys on the side of the highway, discarded by children who have long forgotten about them.
When we still hold power over their hollow, twigish bones, we don’t always use it wisely. We sometimes shake the cage, and prod at them through the metal bars that keep them shackled. We pluck out all their feathers to ensure they are perfection. They find themselves confused, and wondering “What have I done wrong?”
Every bird outgrows her cage and flies higher than we can reach them, even as our calloused fingertips graze the sky in search of them.  But the less we shook their cages, the more they’ll find their way home to us. If we do not shake the cages, we may find our tender fingers holding them up to the sun once again.






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