MRS. DUCK……by Holly Horse Lover, age 8

One day I was at the counter and I saw a duck on the fridge. I asked my mom, ” Why is that duck on the fridge?”  My mom said, ”When I was little my grandmother had that duck on her counter. When we kids went over to her house she let each of us have a chocolate. Sometimes I would sneak a couple more chocolates  into my mouth and nobody knew what I did. My grandmother called that duck Mrs. Duck.”

Giselles camera 2015 006

THE end

-by Holly Horse Lover, age 8 


My daughter, “Holly Horse Lover,” wrote this little piece about a candy jar in our kitchen. Many years ago, this same ceramic duck graced my grandma’s counter top. And yes, she used to fill it with a variety of mini chocolates: Kit-Kat, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, Hershey’s Dark Chocolate, Crackle, and Mr. Goodbar. And it is also true, that I used to sneak chocolates when everybody’s backs were turned! I loved chocolate, and am still an addict, to this very day! It struck me how this seemingly insignificant story from my childhood intrigued my sweet daughter. As I pondered her curiosity, a few thoughts came to mind.

Tradition. We often live our lives by default, lacking intentionality. What we need, is to establish family traditions that our children (and we ourselves) will come to cherish and treasure forever. Isn’t it interesting how often it happens, that when we think about our pasts, some of the memories that stand out the most are those involving tradition: some habit that our parents ALWAYS used to practice; or some object that ALWAYS sat on that SAME SHELF; or perhaps, some special scent we associate with our mothers; or a book that used to be read to us over and over again; or the way certain holidays were celebrated. Sometimes our memories are negative, and sometimes they are positive. I want to write here about positive memories.

What kind of beautiful memories can we create for, and with, our children? We need not spend lots of money; the most important ingredient is OURSELF. Let me illustrate. Just the other day, this same daughter came up to me for a hug, then commented, “I love the way you smell.” I had to ask. “Why?” She replied, “Well, when I was a baby, you would hold me against your shoulder, just like you hold the baby now, and I would put my head down on your shoulder, and I would smell your clothes; and that’s the way you smell! It’s such a nice, motherly smell.” And I would have never imagined it–my little girl cherishes the way I smell! I think it must not be so much the scent, but the person.  Because I love her so very much, and because she also loves me as any child would her own mother, anything associated with me becomes connected in her mind with what’s good. Isn’t that charming? It leads me to think, if such bondings are formed un-intentionally, through our just being who we are, what sort of links might develop if we put some effort into it?

It doesn’t have to be a Mrs. Duck. It could be a game we play every Friday evening around the table, with popcorn. It could be the way we set the table, with a special bowl and cup for each child. It could be the way we tuck them into bed at night; with a story, a song, a prayer. Perhaps the way we celebrate their birthdays, or the customs we establish for different holidays. We don’t have to copy anybody else (unless we want to–there’s nothing wrong with copying a good idea!)…we have the potential for creating the most darling of memories with the raw peculiarities with which God has blessed our personalities.



So, what kind of traditions have you  established for your family? Are there any special memories you would like to share about customs your family had when you were growing up? What do you think about setting family traditions into place? I always love to hear your feedback!







6 thoughts on “MRS. DUCK……by Holly Horse Lover, age 8

  1. Dear Jessica, thank you so much for this post. It brought me back to various sweet memories in the past. Like your grandma, my great-grandma always had a candy-jar in her room and she used to let us choose whatever we want.

    I like the way your dear daughter expressed her love and attachment to you; the motherly smell! Yes, I also remember
    my mother’s smell especially when I had a difficulty in sleeping at night. Her smell always made me feel safe and secure.

    As for the (spiritual) family tradition, I have been making a simple butter-raisin cake for refugees who are coming to our place. After baptism, after releasing from the jail, after releasing from drug-addiction etc,,,Some of them call us from overseas, telling us that they still remember the taste of that raisin cake.

    This kind of topic is too often neglected but actually, it is very important. Thank you for opening up this issue and giving us opportunity to think about it.



    1. Thank you for telling me about your special memories, Kinuko! I also like the idea of making a special kind of dessert for visitors. Maybe I could try something like that too.
      I appreciate your validation of my thoughts on this point.
      Thank you,

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Once I read one Japanese christian’s blog telling that he and his wife has occasion to prepare meal imitating Jewish passover supper to teach their kids the meaning of passover and resurrection of Jesus at Lent/easter season for years. First time I read the article, I thought ‘How nice idea it is!’. I also started to do the same thing last year.(Later I also knew that cathoric church where my neighbours belong do the similar thing for teaching kids in an event.)Jewish unleavened bread is so expensive and we can buy it only by mail order in Japan.The blogger used ordinary crackers(or handmade unleavened bread),grape juice,horshladish,easter eggs. But in my area,it is so difficult to find horshladish,muttonlamb.
    I prepare grape juice,crackers,easter eggs,salad(instead of horshladish),meat cookery(instead of muttonlamb). I hope it will be my family tradition!
    Actually we do not have so many family tradition.Bible reading time before going bed me with my son maybe tradition keeping on several years.

    Your story of your granma’s chocorate made me smile. And what your daughter touching! I guess you are great supporter for your children.If kids can have happy memories of family tradition,it is so wonderful.It is also the memory of being loved,I think.
    Being loved help them to understand God’s love,and whenever they face the trial,give them strength.
    Being loved memories are similar to feel that we are not alone.

    When I heard of other’s family tradition,I feel more familier to them. It is like secret treasure in people.
    Thank you for sharing your loving memories,Jessica.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sanae, for your touching reply!
      What a wonderful idea to copy the Jewish Passover dinner! Actually, I have been wondering about doing that myself with our family.
      I think that reading the Bible with your son every night is a wonderful tradition! And I agree, that it’s very important for children to feel loved. Knowing we love them, as you say, gives them strength when they face trials–how true!
      Thank you for sharing,


  3. Dear Jessica,
    That is an adorable story your daughter wrote! I’m a homeschool mom as well, and 1/2 of my children are graduated. I have such a difficult time throwing out anything from their school years, especially their stories. Just precious. 🙂 My children tell me that they remember playing with my hair, which has always been long. I started that with them as part of their comfort while nursing. Some of them will still come up behind me and twirl my hair around their hands. The kind of neat thing is that because dad always liked my hair long, the boys are looking for women with long hair. (and those that cover too 🙂 )
    Many blessings to you and your family.


    1. Thanks, Ruthie!
      My children haven’t gotten to where they write a lot of stories yet, but they love to draw. I almost can’t bear to part with the pictures that my little ones draw–but I can’t keep EVERYTHING, so I make myself close my eyes, and just get rid of stuff, otherwise, I’d have way too much! All those memories are so precious; I wish I could store every picture perfectly in my memory.

      I think it’s so sweet that your children still play with your hair! You know, I never would have dreamed of playing with my mom’s hair (even though, she never did have long hair anyways). She wasn’t (and still isn’t) a touchy-feely type person. That’s okay; everybody’s different. But, I think it’s wonderful when we have that close physical/emotional connection to our children. Just like you say, it’s something that starts as early as the nursing years, and then carries on throughout childhood, and even past that!

      Thanks so much for your sweet sharing! Many blessings to you and your family, too.


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