We have ducks. Not by choice, mind you. But, ducks we have nonetheless. And while the word now is plural, it did not start out that way. This occurred as the time came to open my grandmother's pool for the summer. After the cover had been removed,two ducks soon began helping themselves to the enjoyment of the pool and shade of the trees that surround it. They obviously enjoyed a little more than just that, because soon enough there was a nest filled with eggs beneath one of the trees.
However, the strange thing is that soon after these two "love birds" made themselves this love nest there remained not two ducks, but one. Papa Duck decided to pack his bags and go. Leaving the egg nursing Mamma Duck all alone.
Less than a month after Papa Duck's departure two duckies were lost. One egg was found cracked into and stranded alongside the pool. A few days later, a duckling was found at the bottom of the pool. However, a week after the loss of two babies, Mamma Duck was soon being followed by her very own septuplets.
So what is the point? Ducks are born on a pretty consistent basis, right? (We aren't exactly experiencing a duck shortage in New Jersey, or...any part of the world to my knowledge). And while having a duck in your pool isn't a daily occurrence, it is neat for a second, but gets old pretty fast because Mamma Duck is quite frankly a little boring on her own.
But with seven ducklings following her every single movement? Nothing short of amazing. As I came upon Mamma Duck and her babies swimming around in the pool I couldn't believe the precision that these newborn duckies had in following their leader. When I approached the ducks to snap a picture, Mamma instantly moved right. As I went towards a different angle, Mamma instantly moved away. Each time, her entourage followed without a moments hesitation.
If only human parents would lead in such a way. While there are many who have got it right, the unfortunate truth is that there is a rising number of parents with less leadership qualities than this Mamma Duck. There are parents who are afraid to lead their ducklings, afraid to direct their paths and nip at them when they talk back or behave in a way opposite of how they have been lead. Then, the parents shake their heads and wonder "where they went wrong" when Mamma Duck here is screaming the most important lesson: TRAIN THEM WHILE THEY ARE STILL YOUNG!
Mamma Duck and Papa Duck it is your responsibility to nurse your eggs, to keep them from cracking or falling to the bottom of the sea. It is your responsibility to train your duckies to follow your every move and direction.
And when they ask "But why?" Just tell them, "I'm leading you so that one day your can lead yourself."