While my husband, teenage daughter and I were on vacation this week, my sister forwarded this wonderful poem to me. It came at a particularly apt time, as I enjoyed my daughter's company far from the stresses of everyday work and school and life. We shared many things over the past few days, but it was very clear that she is her own person.
She is with me, but does not belong to me.
She dwells in the house of tomorrow. And I don't.
But, sometimes she lets me visit. Enjoy ...
by Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are sons and daughter's 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.