Blog Archives , parenting , parenting a teenager , Spirituality
How I am Learning to Let Go of My Children
How did this year go by so fast?
How did they get this big?Tonight we have my son’s eighth-grade award ceremony, which is an elaborate, mini-graduation type event. Before the end of the night, I will have to reconcile myself to the idea of having two high schoolers. We will take pictures in which my son will be taller than me and I will wonder where this cute little guy went. Just after school gets out my daughter will turn 15. I will drive her to the DMV to get her learner’s license and she will drive me home. Just like that, I will have gone from pilot to co-pilot. This analogy drips over into so many areas in her life where she is now exerting more independence and control. My first instinct to these changes is to push back. I want to grab my children and hold them and scream, “MY BAAAAABIEEEEEES. Don’t LEAVE!” I can’t even imagine how my friends who have graduating seniors are coping this year. I get misty-eyed just thinking about it. But alas, I cannot hold my children in my arms and under my roof forever. For their very job is to grow up and move out of the nest. This is not a problem, this is life exactly as it should be.
So, how do I cope?I go back to a poem that we used to listen to when the children were babes in arms. It a poem by Khalil Gibran that Sweet Honey and the Rock put to music. I couldn’t link this song, but trust me when I say, look it up! I will share the poem with you now:
On Children Kahlil Gibran 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