CREDOS: Stubborn Love — III

On Saturday Bob wandered into the den. “Mama, can I go to the mo-vies?” he asked. The movie was rated PG-13. The number thirteen indicated an extra note of caution. I looked at my thirteen-year-old son.

“Nope, not this movie.” “Can’t we even talk about it?” he pleaded. “There’s nothing to talk about,” I said. “We would only end up shouting again.” “Mama, you don’t understand,” he cried. “You don’t even try!”

When mail time came again, I walked out as usual and there was the same maddening bundle of debris. Reaching in to pull it out, I caught a flash of something small, round, and blue in the twigs and straw. It was a bird’s egg.

I spotted the mother bird with a piece of pine straw dangling from her beak. I pushed the ragged nest back inside, impressed by her tenacity. Every day she had started a nest inside our broken mailbox and when she returned to find her efforts whisked away, she had tried again. “You don’t even try!” Bob had said to me. He sat beside his desk absently turning his globe around. “Hi,” I said. He looked up at me and stared, and for an instant I glimpsed the vulnerable little boy he’d once been, as well as the young man he was becoming. “Wanna talk?” I asked. “I promise to listen.”

Three baby birds appeared in our mailbox. Every day the mother per-ched on top of it and sang. It was the song that would get me through the teenage years — the sweet, stubborn sound of love that never quits. — (Concluded)