Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Your children are not your children

Tatsuya will be leaving tonight to start year 11 in Australia and we head out to the airport with him later this afternoon. I mentioned to a friend yesterday that this would be just a little gut-wrenching (if gut-wrenching comes in degrees). It prompted him to send me an excerpt from The Prophet by Khalil Gibran. It echoed what I already hold to be true, but I just thought it was worth posting as I prepare to see off my eldest. It seems it was only a few days ago that I pulled into a shop in Military Road on my way home from Royal North Shore and bought a teddy bear for my newly born son (the very same bear my wife discovered a few moments ago in his hand luggage!). Anyway, here is the passage from the Prophet

Chapter 3 Children
And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children." And he said:
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.


2P said...

So - putting a brick on their heads doesn't work huh?

If he needs an "Uncle" when he's in Sydney I can be completely avuncular when required.

Ewen said...

For a moment it makes me wish I had children, as well as a nephew and a neice.

Great words. Now I know why I'm so similar, yet so different from my parents.

Sounds like he might soon belong to 2P Steve.

Tesso said...

Nice words ... from both Kahlil and you.

I bought 'The Prophet' many many moons ago. Your post has prompted me to dust it off and have a read.

Scott said...

Great poem Stephen.

These words struck a cord with me "For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams." This is true of my kids and kinda true of my wife if you replace the word "house" with "kitchen."

Joking aside I really feel for you having to let go of Tatsuya and think you are handling whole the situation rather admirably.

Also thanks for the comments on the black fish situation. I really did as they say Laugh Out Loud. Something I don't do enough of thesedays. Cheers.