Friday, February 28, 2014

Arrows from my heart

I love this quote about children by Kahlil Gibran--and I think of it when I think of my young kids growing up.  I was such a handful as a teen, and I imagine my girls will be, too. 
I pray I can have the wisdom to deal with the potential craziness that we didn’t have to contend with—like the possibility of every embarrassing moment EVER, recorded on camera phone and potentially uploaded to youtube.  I mean seriously, the thought of the stupid things I did when I was a teenager, having it uploaded for posterity, gives me the shakes.  If my girls were old enough, it would probably give THEM the shakes—of embarrassment.

Anyway, when I am trying to bend DD2 to my will to eat every damn last green bean on her plate before dessert, or commanding DD1 to not raise her voice in protest one more second when doing her math homework—that it’s okay to be upset but it is NOT OKAY TO THROW SHIT around the room in anger, or time out NOW, I try and remember this.  

 I’m doing my best to shape them to prepare for the future—of life as a young girl, teenager, young woman in our beautiful, but also maliciously unfair world.  To give them boundaries on what is acceptable for them to do and equally important as to what is acceptable for them to expect from other people—in a life that can be full of hope and at the same time full of injustice. 

My sweetheart 4 and 7 years olds, I love you.  I cannot control you, you are arrows from my heart, I can only do my best to prepare you for what the world might bring to your feet, and hopefully give you the tools to forge a path all of your 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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