I had one of those bad parent moments this weekend. When the kids suck the life right out of me and I’m mumbling a repetitive mantra to clean rooms, put the dishes in the dishwasher, read your book for school, put your underwear in the hamper so the damn dog doesn’t eat them, for God’s sake brush your teeth because they’re filthy, etc.,etc. I have said it so many times my lips hurt. I can’t cross off items from my “to do” list until they fucking cross it off theirs and they don’t give a damn. I’m sick of bending over, picking up, wiping off, putting away. I’m teetering on the edge…
I had been told that the tasks were completed. I believed them. Then I walk into their rooms and realized that I’ve been lied to and finally I snap, like a twig. I must immediately reclaim my power and position by screaming like a banshee. I pull my voice from somewhere down in my toes. It rises up through my body like a fireball, spewing from my mouth as I stomp throughout the house slamming doors and drawers for effect.
You will do as I say for I am the boss. I am in charge!!!
I am also thankful that a social worker from children and youth services does not live next door.
Then I remember the words of Khalil 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 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.
~ Excerpt from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
Then I say a little prayer to be the bow that is stable, to bend in gladness, to be granted forgiveness.