The older I get, the more I appreciate children. In a recent conversation about children and parenting, I recalled what I wrote many years ago, which has proven so true in my life. It is titled, simply, “Children”:
“You who would understand children, first understand the child in you.
Therein lies your link with their innocence.
Be not the parent you think you should, be the parent you are. For your children are given unto your keeping, they need you.
You have but to listen to your heart, for there is no better parent. And though you err, it is the constancy of your love that shall carry them toward their tomorrow.
“If you do not discipline, life will, though with sorrow. For permissiveness will not prepare them for the pain of growth. And life would have them seek the mountain as well as the plain.
Your children will come your way, but only for a distance. Then they must seek their own path. And you must help them on their quest.
It is for you to provide food that can sustain them. It is for you to give memories to warm their winters and caress their wounds. It is for you to bless their efforts, that they may strive with faith. But it is not for you to place their feet upon a path.
Your children are of you, but not for you.
You cannot take them down the path of your dreams, nor may you walk down theirs.
For though they are your seed, they are planted in tomorrow’s garden.
“Nurture, but seek not to uproot. Give of the fruit in your garden, but do not bid them enter. They would find no rest there; their hearts dwell in a field beyond your vision.
Only after the Harvest shall you live in one house.
Until then, rejoice in the continuity of life.
Be thankful you have a living stake in tomorrow.”