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Archive for the ‘Conclusions’ Category

I really struggled to find a way to conclude this first theme of “Mother and Child” that would capture the essence of all the beautiful artwork and poetry we have looked at this past month. In the end, I chose a passage from a book my own mother gave me long before I could truly understand the power of its words. Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet explores the spirituality of many different aspects of human life. The following passage, “On Children,” addresses the true selflessness of parenting.

“On Children” by 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 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.
For Baby…
“You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.”¬†In this line, Gibran throws off the balance of what one would typically understand to be the dynamic between parent and child. Children are always imitating the adults in their lives. Much of their play echos everyday adult life. I’m thinking of all the essentials of the early childhood classroom: the playhouse and the kitchen sets; the toy toolboxes and the cash registers; the dress up box and the miniature baby carriages. Every parent knows, however, that there is also much to learn and emulate from the life of a child. It is really important to take the time to share with your child what makes him or her so inspirational to you. Is it the big smile he meets the day with each morning? Is it the courage she shows when trying some new? Is it the enthusiasm he brings to even the simplest of tasks? Take a quiet moment in your day to share with baby those qualities that you admire most about him or her.
For Mommy…
It’s because we all understand that our children live in the “house of tomorrow” that makes our time with them as babies so very precious. Of course we know that our children will ultimately have to make their own life decisions, but we work so hard to provide them with a solid foundation of love and support before we set them out into the big world. One of the buzz phrases in parenting today is “attachment parenting.” This phrase, which I first read about through author and pediatrician William Sears, refers to the idea that children who have a strong emotional bond with their mother or other important adults in their lives, have more confidence and success in the long run. This, of course, makes complete sense. Gibran’s passage reminds us, however, that as “attached” as we get, our children really don’t belong to us. We pour our hearts and souls into our babies, knowing, that at some point, we will have to let go. Of course, the bond between mother and child lasts a lifetime and beyond. But, what I’m getting at is, our babies will never need us in the same way as they do now. ¬†Gibran’s passage helped me see the common thread that connects all the artwork and poetry we have viewed over this past month. The beauty lies in the fact that this precious time we share with our children as babies is only a small period of time in both of our lives.

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