If it looks like a duck!
Upon arriving at our home in Maine, my kids discovered that a mama duck was nestled in some bushes on our front lawn, keeping her eggs warm. All weekend it became the favorite attraction - checking on mama duck to see if any babies has hatched. I implored the kids keep their distance for fear the mom would abandon her eggs if they were disturbed or turn and bite the kids. We discussed what an important job it was to be a mom, making sure the duckling(s) were born safe and healthy. We wondered if this was the same duck who had often sat on our dock alongside another(presumably daddy duck) last summer.
When she was still there at the end of the 2nd day we all marveled. Wow! This was a tough job. You have to sit still - no meals, no snacks, no water! How did she do it?
Then on day 3 we were all frolicking in the lake - kids jumping with squeals from our dock when all of a sudden a duck dove in and came to the surface looking at us. Was this mama duck? My curiosity couldn't take it. I ran around to the front of the house to see if the mama duck was off her nest. I am telling you, that duck in the lake knew what I was doing! She watched me as a ran by. Seriously! And sure enough mama duck was not on the nest. It was her! I knew it! I bent over to look to see how many eggs were in the nest. All of a sudden the duck flew over my head and landed a few feet in front of me, and stared me down. "Get away" said her glare - this is a tough enough job, don't make it an harder! I could relate and assured her in my sweetest voice that I hadn't touched her nest. I ran back to the dock to report in that it had been mama duck in the lake! I had perhaps cut her snack break short, but all was well. We are still waiting for the babies to be born.
I'll report in when the day arrives. For now lots of teachable moments in motherhood and parenting as well as patience and determination. I've also told my gaggle how the babies will continue to test mama ducks patience after they are born, oblivious that their mama sat for days/weeks protecting them fiercely till the big day.