Being a mother must feel like she is teetering on a fence. On one-side is her fear for her young, which could easily exhaust her.
On the other hand, she must feel great pride in their beauty and perfection.
A mother knows her young are special. Even though neither parent has yellow feathers, the ducklings have a bright, sun-kissed look. They are clearly the essence of spring.
Their focus on food demonstrates a surprisingly long attention span, for such young creatures.
They require no guidance from their mother to keep them on task.
Seldom does the duckling's vision stray...
…from looking for the next tiny morsel.
When they do look up ….
…their youth and innocence is fearless.
Still, they have a healthy instinct...
…which keeps them close to their mother, at least initially.
All in all, the need to feed remains their top priority.
Every opportunity is investigated.
Occasionally, there is a little indecision about who gets the next bug or floating seed.
New experiences, like this bubble, make the ducklings curious. They must wonder, "Is it good to eat?"
Watching them makes me curious, how much is known from instinct, how much is learned from their parents and how much is learned the hard way.
Do they know they can "walk on water" or ….
… do they just assume they can do anything?
Ultimately, they will grow too heavy to stroll across the lily pads, but then they will learn to fly.
They may or may not live up to their mother's expectations, but either way, they are their mother's gift to life on earth.
This week's column is dedicated to all our mothers. Thank you for believing in us!