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.”
Rajib, my son was born in Baroda and i was in Singapore …I recall having sent greetings to my wife with this very quote from The Prophet – I loved it so much it was kind of resolve to build that approach in raising the children. It’s hard …truly hard..but does greatly benefit them..is what I can say. One never gets over missing children in the home…we only learn to compensate in various ways.
No worries, she will be doing fine in college, nice seeing her heading to college, first time we saw her, in Coppell she was 3 years old, way back in 2001 🙂
Most appropriate poem for parents. True, very hard but results excellent for both, children as well parents
I think of this poem and draw strength from it.. Even as I get anxious about my daughter leaving home. And it’s not for two more years!
You will be fine and some of the new found freedom will be appreciated… just a few more years and you will be in the middle ages….
All the best to you and Sharmila for getting over the Empty Nest Syndrome! Best wishes for Natasha in life ahead
Excellent reminder of our roles as parents !! Thanks for sharing