On Children, by Khalil Gibran

I think about this often. My life at the moment revolves around my kids – a 9 month old and a 2.5 year old. When I am at home, I do not have a minute to myself. The days fly by in a blur of mealtimes, nap times, and activities to entertain the kids. The hours pass while we watch the kids play in their playroom, stroll outside with one baby in the carrier and one on his Strider bike, wash dishes, do laundry, clean pump parts, cook – the list goes on. These are lovely moments – reading books on the window seat, playing peek-a-boo, and even answering the same question over and over again. I have already seen how these little people are born with their own desires, disdains, and personalities. I know that it is only a matter of time before they fly away from me. They will make their own friends, create their own worlds, and go on to have busy, busy lives. It is the nature of things and I am trying to prepare for it. For now, I am soaking up these precious days – trying to be as present as possible despite so often being exhausted. And in the back of my mind trying to remind myself that these children are not my own.

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.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

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