12 Little Ducks
I spend most of my day reminding my boys to shut the door, lift the seat, turn the light off, leave the room better than you found it, put things back where you got them from, etc. It’s the same things I suppose my parents told me and my siblings many, many years ago, but it seems like I say the same thing, to the same child, five or six times every single day.
But these past weeks we added some more animals to our menagerie—-a dozen baby ducklings. Adorable, vulnerable, comical and very needy of attention, these little guys are the focus of our free time now! The boys have put down their little electronic toys and have forgotten about Disney+ and Spider Man! The new ducks are the center of our home now!
But, what has really surprised me is that the boys have not forgotten, not one time, to close all three doors to the basement. The they know that if any of our five dogs gets down there, it will be end of all the baby duck. This is “life or death” moment for the boys, and they somehow no longer are experiencing their forgetfulness or suffering from ADD. Hmmm—-makes you wonder.
I also have seen a new gentleness has overcome all three of the boys. The realize that these ducklings cannot be handled rough-even one time. So much of their lives (and ours as adults) we’ve learned to just apologize for doing things that are careless or un-required, but the boys realize than an apology won’t heal a broken neck of these tiny creatures—the duckling will die and all the excuses and apologies in the world won’t heal them.
It appears that God’s little creatures teach and instill in children what the bigger creatures (moms and dads) cannot. My boys now see a reason to pay attention and shut that door, turn off that light, check the water bowls (a duckling drinks a gallon of water a week!). And as anyone that has had a duck knows, you can’t “potty train” them. It’s a constant mess. But whereas I can’t get my boys to lift the seat, flush the toilet or close the lid, they busily change the straw for duckings several times a day and complain about how messy the little critters are.
When the little ducks begin to squeak when the boys enter into the room and rush to eat the food right out of their hands, their hearts melt and they’re ready to make the cages even cleaner and more expansive. Twelve little ducks have brought more joy and unity to our home than all my lectures, pleas and threats.