Josh and I decided to name our baby girl Ava, which means "little bird" or "like a bird", on the way home from the ultrasound where we found out her sex. While crossing the Twin Bridges leaving Waco we discussed all of the things she might become. World famous classical violinist? Award winning author? President? However, we never considered that she might actually become a little bird. I remember hearing a story about a mom who asked her son what he wanted to be when he grew up. He replied matter-of-factly, "I wanna' be an elephant." Ava's bird-transformation isn't quite so blatant, but existent nonetheless.
While in Fredericksburg last month I bought a gorgeous white bird feeder to hang on our front porch. We are host to a family of barnswallows, and have enjoyed watching two generations of babies hatch and fly from their nest. I thought it would be nice if they didn't have to fly to our neighbors house for viddles. Josh was at a particularly busy point in his Greek semester so the bird feeder sat on our counter for about a week before he had a chance to hang it. It was filled with seed, ready to feed our growing barnswallow family.
One morning, about three days after I'd filled the feeder, I noticed Ava crunching something in her teeth as she waited for me to make breakfast. Normally, I would have assumed that it was a stale multi-grain Cheerio she'd found in her highchair. But I'd just thoroughly cleaned it. I slyly watched her from the opposite side of the kitchen, hoping she'd lead me to her food source. I watched, in horror, as she reached her chubby little arm in Go-Go-Gadget fashion farther than I would have imagined possible. Her fingers expertly grasped a pinch of birdseed from the not so nearby bird feeder. Before I could do anything about it, the seeds were chewed and on their way to her hungry tummy.
The ease with which she enjoyed her birdly breakfast could only mean one thing. She'd been mucnhing bird seed for at least three days! We've hung the feeder outside now, and it dangles just outside our dining room window. Perhaps it's my imagination, but sometimes I think the look in her eye as she watches the barnswallows enjoying the bird feeder is one of envy. Occasionally she'll find a seed that fell from the feeder while it was in the house. Anyone who's spent five minutes with a toddler can predict what she does with the seeds. She hasn't sprouted feathers yet. I guess the birdseed didn't do any harm, just gave a little blue-eyed girl a taste of her true namesake.