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The Duck Farm


Footnotes: Thoughts from the margins of a mom's life


footnotes

May 2014

Some parents are worried what will happen when their child discovers there is no Santa. Forget Santa. I'm worried what my son William will say when he finds out another truth: there is no duck farm that magically flies rubber ducks into his grandparent's closet. Let me explain.

My mother thought it would be fun to hide a little treat for William when he comes to visit. Actually her mother used to do the same thing for me with silver dollar coins, which I would scramble around hunting for when I was a very small child. I understand where my mom's coming from, and I remember how excited I used to be as a little girl. So I get it. But my mom doesn't hide dollar coins; she hides little rubber ducks. The kind one can order for under a quarter at Oriental Trading Company. We now have a lot of these rubber ducks they seem to multiply.

William quickly got into this game, but (unlike me when I was a little girl hunting for coins) he soon wanted to know where the ducks were coming from. "From the duck farm!" we said, not really thinking about it. Then, one day while driving home from my parents, William eyed a painted barn next to an elementary school. He exclaimed, "There's the duck farm! That's where they come from!" Once I finally figured out what he was talking about, I smothered my laughter and didn't correct him. It's been several months now.

I can only imagine how disappointed he'll be when he realizes the barn is not the home of hundreds of rubber ducks waiting to wing their way to my mother's closet. No, that "duck farm" is instead a storage space for sports equipment that belongs to the school. But for now, for at least a little while longer, I wave with my son as we pass "The Duck Farm." And just smile as our duck collection keeps growing.


Tags: Footnotes, In This Issue, Parenting

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