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.


From The Prophet (Knopf, 1923). This poem is in the public domain.


There comes a time in our life as mothers when we have to realize we don’t own children assigned to us. We mother bestows self worth. We mothers are assigned to carry, nurture, teach and let them go. Let them surpass us in life. True love lets go.  Like a bow we let the arrow fly and trust that we have done what we could and leave the rest up to GOD.

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