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 archers’ hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves
also the bow that is stable.
Bob Dylan said it almost as well: “Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command…”
“The variety of cruelty parents can inflict on their children are endless.” -m. scott peck
I am indecently nosy and I eavesdrop, often not even bothering to disguise it. Hey, we all have faults. I watched a few minutes: a dad and a daughter, early teens. In a store. It was just a little verbal dig, not a big deal, she would never even remember it. I’m sure he was probably a good dad. But I saw her face, and I cringed, and I saw so clearly for a second how little things add up and I thought, No, don’t tear her down– it’s your job to build her up! I don’t want to pick on the dad. You can’t guard your every word and kids are frustrating as hell. But kids are always listening, especially to your voice. More, they’re listening to what’s behind your voice, to the meaning in your words.
Anyway, those are today’s thoughts.