The Prophet - On Children
~ by Kahlil Gibran
~ by Kahlil 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.
Four years ago this September, I found myself behind bars learning quickly what a courtesy flush was. It was not pretty but that’s where I belonged. I deserved everything I got by committing that crime. And though I’ve served my sentence, completed probation, took all the right classes, kissed enough asses, yada yada, I still have yet to pay back my debt to society, more specifically, my debt to my daughter.
I haven’t worked hard enough to getting back to being the Mama she once had. I’ve allowed fear and self-pity, unaccountability and judgement get in the way of getting better. I willingly placed myself in a position where being controlled and manipulated was easier than being strong, brave and independent. Settling for less than I am capable of just became the easiest way to handle things.
Well, that’s bullshit. That’s a cop out. That’s a weak person’s way of living and my Daddy didn’t raise me to be no coward.
And my daughter did not chose me to be her Mama only to have me abandon her or myself. My Bean deserves someone amazing to love her, guide her, believe in her. I’ve failed her these last four years. I’ve not done what needs to be done so she can know she is worth being loved and adored.
My focus has been placed elsewhere because quite frankly, it’s been easier to lie to myself and convince myself she’s better off without me. She’s not. Anyone with a heart can see that, especially when she and I are together.
So this is for my girl, from a Mama that’s learning to bend, not be broken...
I love you Boo. I’m sorry for all the long, lonely nights you’ve faced wondering if I’m ok. For all the times you haven’t been kissed goodnight. For all the tears you’ve had to shed quietly in the shower. For all goodbye’s. For not being there. For getting angry towards you when it was really me I couldn’t stand. For not believing in myself the way you do. For not loving myself the way you do. For all the nights no one knelt beside your bed and said goodnight prayers with you. For not knowing any better. And when I did know better, for not doing better. And most importantly, not acting like the Mama you know is still there.
Bean, you truly are my hero and every day I thank God for you. And if you’ll let me, I will spend the rest of my life proving to you just what a Treasure you really are.
I love you Angel.