Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Passing on Through

Maybe it's recent birthdays of my two older daughters; maybe it was reading this quote from The Prophet that I posted on my other blog, Soul Snax. Whatever the reason, I've been reflecting on my daughters, how I raised them, the kind of parent I was... and what it meant to be a mother to them.
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 house their bodies but not their souls ...
From the first  moments I was pregnant I had the acute sense that the life growing inside me was "on loan" -- not mine to own. I cherished the months I had my unborn baby to myself, knowing that in due time that baby would be shared with all who loved her. My babies were born, each with their own unique personalities  and I was surprised by this. I had the notion that babies were born blank slates, and that we as parents would be the influence in shaping them. That was only partially true. In some ways I felt that my babies were born intact with special aspects of them already seeded. My role was to nurture that which had already been delivered, to allow and cultivate them to grow into themselves.

They come through you but not from you

This is especially poignant. It is a good reminder that we are not parents to impose our own will, personalities and opinions on our children, but to help them develop free thought, perspective, evaluation and problem solving skills. (Easier said than done, for certain.) It is our job to love them and teach them about love and kindess ... and how to survive and thrive.

It's true ... they are merely passing through us on their life's journey. Just stopping in long enough to nourish and equip themselves before embarking on their own adventure.

And if we have played our part well, and loved them with every part of our being, then maybe, just maybe they will make home a frequent stopover on their life's travels.

They come through us - and back to us. But first we have to let them go ...


  1. I love this post! I recall on my dtr's 15th birthday thinking that 16 years was such a huge number in such a short time. It caused me to reflect in a very emotional way, and observe how I thought I was doing my jobs of creating my own redundancy, inspiring her curiosity and holding a mirror for her to observe the many facets of herself. There is definitely something about children's birthdays!

  2. I love The Prophet - great book! My relationship with my parents has grown stronger as I've grown older, so even though your children are growing up, I think you're relationship with them will just get better and better.

  3. This is beautiful, Lyn. :) Your love and understanding of your daughters is ever-present in your posts, but especially here.

  4. Lyn,

    You are an incredibly wise lady...and this post expresses so very much so wonderfully well!!! In fact, you say it all for me!!! You have captured parenting perfectly! I love this post!!! Love to you~Janine XO


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