Don’t worry, you didn’t go to sleep last night and wake up 15 years later. All three of my own children are still living safely (well, that’s debatable) under my roof. But, I really AM an empty nester after the exciting events at our house today. When I went to Women’s Conference last month, I came home and found this right next to my back door:
Eleven duck eggs. So “Mama Duck”, as we’ve called her for the past month (yeah, we’re really creative that way. You’re lucky we didn’t name all my children Baby, Kid, and Girl), has been sitting on that nest faithfully in our back yard. She’s slowly gained more and more trust in us as she realized we had no intention of harming her or her eggs. I was super protective of the little Mama, and once my boys got in big trouble for trying to pick up the eggs and hide them behind the air conditioning unit. Luckily, they were all replaced safely. Two of the eggs disappeared during the four-week wait, but my children swear they had nothing to do with the kidnapping. This morning, when I went out to check on her, I found this:
I was so sad because I thought I must have missed the whole coming-out party that we’d so been looking forward to, but when I wandered around the side of my house, I saw this adorable little scene by my fence:
Nine fluffy little waddling ducklings. After I got all giddy like a little child, I called out my own children. We opened the gate so that Mama and babies could escape, and we followed them along on their little journey.
It was great. Clark declared it “a grand adventure.” I was so excited for Mama Duck, and my kids told everyone who would listen. The poor check-out lady at the pharmacy had to hear all three of them gabbing breathlessly about it at once. When we got home, for the rest of the day, I got a glimpse into what it might feel like to be an empty nester. I missed her. That sounds dumb, but I loved protecting her and anticipating her moment of glory. Whenever I walked out the back door the rest of the day, I felt a twinge of sadness that she’s no longer right there for me to check on. And yet, at the same time, I was so happy for her and her little ducklings, making their way out into the real world and all.
I can’t imagine what it will be like when I let my own children go like that. I bet many of the same emotions will be there. Just bigger.
I think we’ll have to go visit the ducks soon at their pond. For old time’s sake. And because I’m kind of like a grandma now, and that’s what grandmas do. Well done, Mama Duck, well done.
(p.s. If you missed my last post, I had a little tidbit of kind of exciting news. Check it out and then go do everything it tells you to do. )