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.
These words have always inspired me in my parenting. They remind me to love with an open palm and heart, enjoying the privilege of watching my children grow into their own lives. It is a fine line between guiding and teaching them while giving them space to be who they are in this life.
When they arrived, it was my job to protect and care for them completely. Within a short time, my process of gradually detaching began and continues to this very day. To catch and stop myself from imposing my own agendas and ideals on them is part of my growth. This has always required courage on my part and has become more challenging, as they get older and more independent. When I do, it is with pride that I get to experience them for the incredible beings they truly are and are growing into. This is just one of the many blessings of parenting.