I must have been around 19 when I first read Kahlil Gibran's words 'On Children'. The opening line, 'Your children are not your children', never ceases to amaze me. There's a certain catching of the breath followed by a soft exhalation and with it comes the knowledge that what he says is not only true, but so beautiful.
It's like a warm embrace, this poem by Gibran. You know that feeling when you go home to your mom, sit up on the kitchen counter, your legs swinging off the side of it, while she carefully measures out your tea in your favourite mug, with just a spoonful of sugar, just the way you like it? That's the feeling I get when I read this writer.
I'm a largely introspective person, as you can tell if you've been reading this blog of mine for some time now. Interestingly, my parenting journey, too, has been helped along this path thanks to Gy. Sure, I've lost my temper, snapped irritably when things didn't go my way, sulked when I couldn't sleep in beyond 6 am on a school morning, but the point is, I am learning as I walk this path.
Being a mother to a growing young girl comes with its own share of challenges and epiphanies. When I read this poem back in my teens, I marveled at the fluid language and the depth of emotion that was captured so beautifully. Today, when I read it, I can feel the way he reaches into my soul and touches upon that almost imperceptible feeling called motherhood.
Isn't it incredible how we try to hold onto or wield a certain power over our kids? We don't intend to do it, but every time we say 'I know better' or 'Just listen to me', we inch closer to the idea of control. The scary bit? It only gets tougher as they grow older.
They morph into these tiny selves that know what they want and aren't afraid to show it. Gone are the days of the cuddly babies who hung on your every word. It's time for Ms.Personality to make an appearance.
It's hard- that transition. For them and for us, it is a leap of faith into the unknown. Somewhere, somehow we can just hope that someone is out there, waiting to catch us. Every time I read Gibran, I am confident that there really is a higher power to do just that.
Letting go can be hard, but we need to. Most importantly because, our kids need it.
Labels: Hands free parenting, Kahlil Gibran, parenting, Quote a day challenge, Your children are not your children