Whoever said raising children was easy, either didn’t have children or they had a lot of help. And by a lot I mean beyond Mom and Dad they had Aunties, Uncles, Grandma, Grandpa, Cousins, and friends who lived nearby and were an active family support system. I have a 10 year old, going on 11. My nearest relative lives over 2,000 miles away, and we live in a very rural area with no neighbors. To say the least it is hard work, and unexpected challenges present themselves at every corner. With that said, I do believe being a parent is of the highest calling, and teaches patience, tolerance, self control and selflessness, which one could argue might otherwise only be obtained through monasticism. Adding to that is the joy of watching a human being grow up and experience life. Because I, like many other families, do not have a support village, I have often turned to books for help. I have had the great fortune to come across two books in particular that have changed the course of my parenting. I highly recommend both of them. Children are our greatest asset, they will preserve our culture, carry on traditions and inherit the world we leave them. I fully accept and love my role as guide, helper, and caregiver to my son. If you have a parenting book you’d like to recommend please share. Learning from each other and sharing information is what the “village” concept is all about.
by Kahlil Gibran, excerpt from The Prophet
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.