By some quick trick of aging
my children have grown from teeny tots to the young adults they are today.
I do not miss them as they were; I miss myself and how they made me feel.
It is my loss only, a selfish loss.
Cherished like a queen, I could do no wrong, I was the only one who could heal them,
emotionally, physically, with a kiss and a made up, whispered, chant that would allow them to fall asleep.
An extra special band-aid and healing cream that, as promised, would not sting.
I could make them giggle, tell them stories, surprise them with “I Love You” presents,
I appreciated every hand I held until they wanted to stop.
“Your children are not your children” I always read
I prepared myself in advance.
My goal as a parent was to make them strong, like trees, to bend their branches, to have solid roots,
to be good people, people who make a difference in the world.
We encouraged our children to play a sport or to play an instrument but we did not force them,
many people criticized us,
but we were happy with our choice.
Our goal in life was to have happy children, good, strong young men and women
who would give of themselves to others, to do the right things, to give back to the world.
My children are my gift to the world.
I share in their pleasure, I have raised two wonderful young people.
It is, indeed, a special kind of magic.
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.
Marianna, Kahlil’s Sister. Painting by Kahlil Gibran