On Children

And Now I’m Here

I wrote the stuff below the video way back in March 2013, not soon after Alison lost another pregnancy.

It was the start of all the horror we went through, long before the cancer. I don’t tell you everything because I’m not sure you’d believe it all. I mean, I barely believe it all, myself.

But, I’ve been chatting with two friends lately and I remembered that I never posted it because I didn’t want to bum myself out further. Or her.

The last line of the poem’s been in my head lately; on a parent (the bow) needing to be stable so that the child (the arrow) can fly as far and as high as possible.

I hope I’m enough to give the boy flight. Suppose only time will tell.

Saw him briefly this past Sunday, which I probably needed more than he. There’s more but that’s all I wanna share right now.

Me: Are you surprised?
Him: Yes, papa! I thought it was just Auntie that was coming and now you’re here.
Me: (nodding) And now I’m here. Lemme go wash up so I can give you a big hug.
Him: OK! You have to wash for 20 seconds.
Me: (laughing) Will do.

Been thinking a lot about family lately, for reasons I’d rather not get into.

My old boss told me once, when he was expecting his first child, that when men and women reach their 30s or so, they feel an incredible urge to start a family.

He’s right. Although, for me, I was a few years behind that curve.

But I feel it now; Life itself telling me that it’s time to grow up and be an adult because there are adult things I need to do. Things that need to be done.

One of my favourite poems I’ve quoted from before is Kahlil Gibran’s, On Children.

Like he says in the poem, I feel Life longing for itself and I can’t pretend not to hear anymore.

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.

Here’s hoping…

I wrote the earlier entry about On Children when I was mad at my dad.

I regret every argument I ever had with him and miss him terribly. There are some things that time doesn’t make any better.

Podcast Version
Location: my empty apartment, now with even more rum. And popcorn.
Mood: sober again
Music: Trust levels went way down (Spotify)
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