Ah! those pesky little things called “children”
First day of vacation to celebrate the impending passage of Natasha’s next step in life – leaving us to join college. While many parents have gone thru this phase in their lives, for Sharmila and myself, this will be our first. It will be interesting to see how each one of us internalize this passage of our own lives – the balancing of the joy of seeing her grow to be her own woman on one hand and then breaking out in sweat at night realizing that if we walked over to the other room, she is not going to be there, on the other…
Today, she is going to see some of our very old friends who often helped us manage her when she was a mere baby. Many of them have not seen her since those days (and have never seen Nikita!). It probably will not make a big mark in her mind, but for me, it will be momentous watching those “intersection points”.
There is a fascinating poem by the great Lebanese-born American-settled poet Kahlil Gibran called “On Children” that does an exemplary job of setting the parent – children perspective in the larger context of Life.
“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.”