Everyone knows the expression “mother hen,” but what about “mother duck?” I like animals, but in my daily rush, I’ve rarely noticed how any animal typically behaves, let alone a duck. Except once. My sister and I were headed to complete yet another mother’s task (I think this one was hair cuts for our kids) when traffic came to a halt. We gazed down the busy, store lined street, and found the source of the problem – a mother duck and several small ducklings making a dangerous quest to the opposite side of the road. I was relieved when the traffic was actually steering clear of these waddling beings that had no purpose but to simply make it across. The strong and proud momma quickly made her way up the curb followed by each of her little replicas…except one. Cars began to commence their commute again, but we just sat there, in the middle of the road, waiting. We were captivated by this poor little thing that couldn’t jump high enough. Try after try, he couldn’t get higher than half way up the steep curb. After several seconds, the winged troop getting further and further away, we started to get concerned for the one that was being left behind. My sister said, “Oh no! No! Come back momma duck!!” We were all hoping that she would soon notice the dire straits that her precious offspring was in and turn around. Just before we could be classified as overcome with worry (even the kids) the momma duck quickly turned and headed back, leaving the others to wait.
So often, motherhood is filled with moments when our children can’t “get up the curb,” and we worry and rush to save them. Today’s world says a mom ought to be a savior. I don’t know about you, but I’m not much of a savior. In fact, those shoes are a bit too big for me to fill. Being there for our children is so important, and that support is what will give them daily success, not taking on their problems. When my niece was in great need of support, I watched my sister and her precious love nurse my niece back to health and then point her towards a better path. One she had to complete – no one else could do it for her. And she did. Like her, our children need our support, and in different amounts and ways, but it’s not our job to fix every problem for them and allow them to continue that way.
You probably expect me to tell you that this momma duck scooped her little one up and rescued it to safety – that’s what I thought would happen too. Actually, that’s what I was rooting for at the time. She didn’t. She walked right up to the curb, leaned over with her face pointing down at him and squawked! I was so shocked. We all were. She kept at it. She squawked and squawked, cheering him on to find his way. After a couple more tries, that little guy jumped, without any help, high enough to clear the curb plus some! The entire car cheered spontaneously. There was something really beautiful in watching him waddle with her to rejoin the rest. It wasn’t what I expected to happen, not even what my human nature was looking for – it was better.
My girls have been one of the biggest gifts of my life! But at times, I’ve felt very alone. Alone and forced to squawk at them; challenging them. It doesn’t feel good. It’s hard. But in my heart, I know that they will be stronger because of it, and that’s my gift to them. A gift no one can ever take away.
Why write such a strange thing on Mother’s Day? Because I know there are some fellow mother “ducks” out there. It is my prayer that you be encouraged today. Not because you all got up, put on pretty clothes, and went to church and brunch. These are nice things and definitely enjoy them. However, this Mother’s Day, I want you to be encouraged because every time you take the harder road and do what you can to help your ducklings believe in themselves and their capabilities, you are preparing them to be the person God intends them to become. Like that little duck, they can make it. Mothering this way will not make you their savior, but will point them to theirs.
I wish you a blessed Mother’s Day!
Kati is an independent Avon Sales Representative and sales coach/ trainer. She has always loved to teach others and help them succeed. She comes from a background of 5 sisters, surrounded by lots of love among them. She has two beautiful daughters and is a former High School English & Drama teacher. Now, in addition to her Avon business, she enjoys the opportunity to be her daughters’ homeschool teacher. She and her husband of 17 years live and work in Des Moines, Iowa. Together they strive to share this amazing business opportunity with everyone they meet. Connect with Kati on All About Real Glam| Facebook| Google +