24 July 2010


On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

The above poem is a favorite of mine by Kahlil Gibran and lately I've been reading and meditating on the first two stanzas.  For some reason they resonate more with me than the rest of the verse.   I should also mention that my two oldest daughters have been away for many years now and the youngest for 3 years.  It's perplexing that I thought, at one time, I had adjusted to this phenomenon quite well given that we stay in touch almost daily and enjoy each others' company when we're together.  Is it that I'm getting much older now and those nagging fears that plague those of us in the fall/winter  of our lives have become more intrusive?  The rhythm of the household is off considerably when they're not visiting.  Their Dad and I engage in polite conversation and only become really animated when our daughters are the focus of our concerns or they've shared some accomplishment with us.  Forty years together and we've realized just how offspring centered we've been throughout this union.  Having said that, he continues to be active in the community and has reunited with his old singing group and performs to this day. 

As a couple we are proud of how we've parented our wonderful daughters and as we try not to meddle or be intrusive when we're not asked for an opinion; I must disagree a tad with Mr. Gibran when he writes that "they come through you not from you".  They are the combination of our love and the best we've given them over the years that culminated in many of the accolades received  and their achievements. All I'm saying is that they didn't rear themselves!

The lesson for me is to become more active again in my career and develop some other interests... "For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday".

    1 comment:

    Renee said...

    Thanks for sharing this. I can truly identify with your relationship with your "children." You and my bro' are wonderful parents. Your beautiful daughters are a clear reflection of the loving and gracefilled parenting you have given and to a certain extent still give them.

    I've had some trouble getting on your blog, but am so glad to be able to now.

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