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Children, The Joy of Parenting

Kahlil Gibran’s words in his book The Prophet dance around in my mind and bring a smile to my face as I think of how  my daughter’s paths wind and turn.

“Your children are not your children.  They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.”

The whole chapter on Children in Gibran’s book stimulates me.  He writes with such poetry and understanding.  I read the chapter last night laying in bed and thought of how all my girls are changing this summer and that it is a gift for me to be able to see it and record it even if it is a bit challenging in moments.

Sherese is rediscovering the confidence she had as a child.  She is such a strong woman.  A leader.  Yet as she grew she often let doubt and fear prevent her from being her magnificent self.   Now I see her trusting herself more.

This rediscovering can be a bit challenging at times when I see her exhibiting more independence than I am ready to give her.  It leaves me wondering how much more of the tether I should let go?  Soon it will be all gone.  I feel a bit unready for her to be grown.  I realize a battle within for me to let her go and me wanting to hold on.

Emily, sweet Emily.  Well she is resting.  I didn’t realize how hard she has been going at her passion until I see her just being this summer.  She is still doing all her art and cultural studies.  I see her listening to K-pop in the kitchen when I can pull her away from her secluded art life for a moment to do some chores.  She is doing all that she normally does but without the intensity.  She is at ease with it.  I also see a shift in her.  As a child she was passionate about animals.  Loved them.  Over the past two years this has fallen away.  The pictures of tigers, their young and domestic kittens have fallen from her wall.  Now I see this passion returning.  I wonder where it will go.

Last but not least is my Teela.  My baby girl.  Her changes are tied more closely with mine so I am going to share both of them here.  I started to notice a change in me when I first stumbled upon Waldorf education.  Then I became obsessed with parts of it, not all of it.  I felt like it taught me a new way of being a mother.  Once I kind of relaxed and had more patience with Teela, did more with her in a role modeling kind of way, our fierce connection simmered down a bit.  Now I am able to sit back and watch her.  I still feel sad when she plays on her own but I do believe this is my issue and not hers.

A very joyous new thing is that sometimes she just laughs.  A joyful belly kind of laugh.  The giggle coming from her heart and then infects everyone around her.  Her laughter could be at nothing that we would normally consider spectacular funny – two butterflies dancing in the air, our dog giving himself a back-rub in the grass, or watching two cats playing with each other.  She takes complete delight in these things which causes me, and perhaps my family, to reconsider what we are seeing.  There is wonderment everywhere, joy everywhere, if we just slow down and look is’t there?

On another note she is also becoming more demanding and talking in such harsh tones.  That is a down side.  I am going to have to figure out what is going on.  Has my increased patience created some kind of tolerance or is this a shift in roles or what?  I will figure it out eventually.  Maybe it is a developmental phase and we just need to work through it.

How lucky we are to watch our kids grow and evolve.  I am so curious to know where they will go and what stories and experiences they will have.

I will end with another quote from the same book and author.

“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.”

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