GCP is back in the saddle after a wonderful trip to Miami, where among other things we sat on the beach and talked with a wonderful group of African American moms about parenting. (More on that in the next post.) At the end of the discussion one of the moderators read a poem which I hadn’t heard in ages and thought would make a perfect Thoughtful Thursday offering. (Never mind that it is actually Friday, it is still Thoughtful Thursday in our hearts). This poem, “Children” by Kahlil Gibran, beautifully encourages parents to let their children be their authentic selves. Enjoy.

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.

Khalil Gibran

Be sure to check out Sweet Honey in the Rock’s amazing accapella rendition of this poem here.