One sunny afternoon the kids and I were at Liberty Park watching the ducks swimming around in the lake. One mother duck was out for a swim with her ducklings. They glided around on the silky water in a little cluster. One adventurous little duckling wandered off. He (no doubt it was a boy) swam farther and farther away until he panicked and quacked for his Mom. Mom gathered her children around her and together they swam to his rescue. She brought him back to the family and delivered a stern tongue-lashing.
After rejoining the family, the little duckling stayed with the group just a short while before wandering off again. He again called for help and the Mama duck rescued him with much scolding. We watched this scene repeated over and over again and I thought to myself that ducks aren’t much different than people.
Like that little duck, we sometimes repeat the same behavior over and over again, even though it isn’t really working for us. Like the Mama duck, we who are mothers never stop trying to rescue and we continue to deliver the same message even though no one is really listening. Like the little duck family we know that the family is our greatest security and we put up with each other in spite of all our quirks and we try to be there for each other no matter what.
Oh I know that every family has its measure of dysfunction along with the great stuff. The trick is to let go of the negative stuff and hold fast to the postitive. The family is at its finest we can build each other and strengthen each other in spite of our differences and the stormy weather that often comes.
The family I grew up in has had its challenges getting along. Learning to love each other in spite of painful disagreements isn’t easy. As we have grown older I feel we need each other more. We are separated by physical distance as well as emotional distance, yet we share some common ground. DNA, memories, values are some of the things that unite us. Now that our parents are gone, we see each other less and I sense that time is marching on.
My mother’s siblings quarreled bitterly at times. They left this life with much mending left undone. I do not want to take anger or bitterness with me when I go.
My mother was a wizard with a needle and thread. She could mend anything. She even mended rags. She darned socks until her dying day. I would rather do almost anything than mend clothes. I have to love something a lot to actually mend it.
If only relationships could be mended with a needle and thread. If it only it were that simple. Though the tools are different, maybe the thought is the same. Maybe we have to love a relationship a lot to want to mend it.
The threads that tie us together can be wear a little thin at times. Family can be the source of our greatest joys and our greatest sorrows. What irony. What contrast.
I better go get my ducks in a row. I have some family ties that need repair. Time to catch up on my mending.