“On Children” – Kahlil Gibran

Christmas 2016

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, “Speak to us of Children.” And he said:

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.

~Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet ~

May 14, 2015

This is one of those posts where I admit to being more than just a mother but… Brace yourselves… A human being. (Insert collective gasp here.)

There are several versions of this quote. I like them all. I use this as a measure. A checkin. 

Today’s checkin – How much have I loved?

Many lifetimes worth. 

(In some quotes it asks how “well” you have loved…. That one is a little trickier. I guess it depends on how you define “well.”)

How gently have I lived?

Wellllllllllllllll, I get to keep working on this one. I am just beginning to appreciate the idea of “gentle” and strive for it. 

How gracefully have I let go of things not meant for me?

Ummm… Not so gracefully. 

Letting go is hard, dude. Some days I feel like I got it in the bag. Others… Well, let’s just say I understand the other Siddharha quote “You only lose what you cling to.” I know the ugliness that come from clinging. I understand why they use the word “grace” as a measuring stick for how well you let go. 

Striving for grace and gentleness. Those are pretty good goals. 

April 21, 2015


Today was my grandpa Wayne’s funeral. 

Afterward, we all gathered at the house. As the crowd started to dwindle, I walked through the house from one room to the next. Looking. Looking at details I’d never noticed before. What kind of pen sat by the notepad by the chair. What he used for a bookmark. What odd little trinkets made their way to the bottom of odd little jars on the bookshelf. I looked at the art that had hung on the walls for my entire life and the teacups in the glass hutch in the hallway. I snooped. 

Honestly, I didn’t know my grandpa very well. Maybe nobody every really knows anyone else. But of all the kids and grandkids, there are many others who knew him better. 

You learn a lot about people after they die. People talk about the good they did when no one was looking. It’s kind of beautiful, really. And while it’s heartwarming to hear all the good things, I also appreciate the real things. The clutter of a desk that never got cleaned up. The books with a bookmark only a few pages in that never got finished. You get to know someone in a different way when you walk through the real-ness of their lives, their house, their things. 

Maybe it seems crude to walk through someone’s house and snoop. But part of me felt like it was my last chance. To know him. To know him differently than I had for so long.  

And the house that I had spent time in as a child. The toys, the yard, the decorations… The things I had walked past without ever looking. Without ever really seeing. 

Soon the house will change. It has already begun changing in his absence. It will no longer be the place I remember. I wished on the drive home that I had taken more pictures. This is the only one I took. A quote inside a bible that his mother gave him when he was 9 in 1944. 

“Whatever thy hand finds to do, do it with all thy might.” 

No, I am not going to show you my boobs. 

A portion of my days are spent attached to a breast pump in order to feed smallish human. It’s a glorious and dignified process. (No it isn’t.)

This morning, attached to aforementioned pump, the four year old walks in. The idea of me feeding the baby “from my boobs” fascinated her, of course, because she is a curious four year old and it is a new thing for mommy to be waving her boobs around. (I am not really waving my boobs around.)

As curious as she is, she is not impressed by the pump. She looks at it with a horrified facial expression. Sometimes she makes really flattering comments including phrases like “hangy boobs”, because that’s what ever woman wants to hear. (No it isn’t.) She has also learned how to take advantage of the time mommy is immobilized to hide food in her room or glitter glue all of her toys on my living room carpet. But that’s a topic for another day. 

This morning, she walked in as I was re-layering after pumping. 

“Hahahah! Your boobs look funny!” she announced. 

I laughed (kind of) at her response and said, “Yes, they do look a little different after pumping don’t they.”

Let be clear. I was not waving my boons about. In fact, I was working to be extra discreet given her horrified reactions in the past. 

“Let me see them.” she demanded. 

Believe it or not I’m actually a pretty modest person. I work to teach her not to be ashamed of her body by not being ashamed of mine in front of her and by teaching her that the human body is amazing and beautiful. Still, putting my boobs on display for a preschooler who says everything she thinks out loud (and then tells others about it later) is not within my comfort zone. 

“No,” I said. “I’m don’t feel like showing my boobs to you right now.”

And that, my friends, is the quote that inspired this blog post.