The Nest

“Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay”- Dalai Lama XIV

Late this spring, we discovered a nest with 9 eggs in our front flowerbed. It all happened quite by accident as we were planting. Momma Duck emerged right out of her hidden spot, flying directly into Tom’s chest, managing to stun them both.


IMG_3672The entire street found great joy in watching her over the next month as she watched us & stayed faithful to those eggs.   We marked our calendar with the date we discovered the nest and began to take bets as to when they would hatch.   I walked out every morning to check on the eggs, text my neighbors any updates & encourage Momma Duck to tell her she was doing a good job. I even created a make-shift shelter for her during our repeated hailstorms. My kids kept reminding me she was a DUCK & could handle a little rain. They called her my new obsession. I called it mom solidarity.


Just like our momma duck, we spent a lot of time this spring protecting our flock and getting ready for the future. We focused on last-minute college trips to help make a final decision, prepping for prom, studying for AP tests, attending awards ceremonies, celebrating at graduation parties, decorating mortar boards, rolling off of boards we serve on, traveling for work, finishing BSF leadership, launching new businesses, hiking to train for Philmont, reviewing for middle school final exams, celebrating Mother’s Day and two birthdays, finalizing summer travel details, and prepping Mattie for a summer abroad in Madrid. The days flew by as we tried to make sure we had prepared enough. We were weary.Collage

Suddenly, it was graduation day. I was sure it was just yesterday that we had kissed preschool behind & here we were saying farewell to high school.



I asked my talented neighbor to come over to take a few family pictures of us all in our front yard. Of course, we had to check on the neighborhood ducks. Imagine our surprise when we discovered the eggs were hatching right as we were taking graduation pictures! Momma Duck had done her job & I am sure she was weary! We would take a few family photos of our graduate in his cap & gown, then tiptoe near her nest to see how many more had hatched. We would snap a few pics of the baby ducks & then us & then back again.

Little did I know that my flock & hers were both preparing to launch at the same time, for the next morning, they were all gone. In order to allow them to thrive, they had to move on to somewhere else. Her protective nest had given them a place to grow, but if they were to gain the life skills they needed, they had to leave. Mommaduck

The irony was not lost on me. I had been keeping my emotions in check until that morning. How could they be gone so quickly?! Where are they? Will they be ok? Are they prepared? Will they stumble? Will there be challenges ahead? Will they discover what they need to know? Will they love their new adventures? Will they return? I am sure the answer to all of these questions is “yes,” but it’s a hopeful, quiet “yes” when you are a mom.

A dear friend shared her mom’s frequent wise words with me earlier this year. They stuck with me & still ring oh, so true, “Birds and children fly away.” Yes, yes, they do.


Click here to see how quickly the years have passed!



14 thoughts on “The Nest

  1. That was so beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing. What a blessing for the Meadows to get to watch this sweet boy grow up to be such a fine young man. I know the Lord has great things in store for Ketrick. We love the Karstens. Truly an answer to prayer. Continued summer blessings to you all.

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences – you have such a way with words, my friend! Prayers for Ketrick as he spreads his wings and flies off for new adventures. Love the photos in the post and in the video!!


  3. Lovely analogy of the progression within and out of “then nest”; from a mom’s perspective. Blessings to all the Karstens on the upcoming joint, as well as individual adventures!


  4. Lovely analogy of the progression within and out of “the nest”; from a mom’s perspective. Blessings to all the Karstens on the upcoming joint, as well as individual adventures!


  5. Oh Kim! I loved watching the video. I don’t even know Ketrick, but I DO know you! Ketrick is indeed blessed to have such a loving mama! Can’t wait to see where he “flies” in the future!


  6. Thank you Kim! I am a year away from a big “nest leaving” with one child heading to college and one to high school (“school” for the very first time for him). Your post was wonderful to read and I will need to read it again for sure in twelve months when I am watching my little ones head out!


    1. Thank you, Becky! It is lovely to “see” your family on FB! I am sure you have equipped them well! It is all bittersweet, but enjoy! You are leaving homeschooling while I am launching into it. This gives me comfort that it can be done!


  7. Love this and all that you share with those who will be on this journey with you. Te analogy of the momma duck reminds me of you providing a loving nest for you 3 and letting them each be their own person with each one having very distinct passions. They all will be so blessed by this adventurous next year and I am excited to watch it all fro this wonderful window you are providing. You’ve done well Momma duck! XO


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