Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Happy 8th Birthday, Big Arrow!

I like to write posts to the boys on their birthdays, and it is Big Arrow's 8th birthday this week (you can read his 2nd3rd4th, 5th6th, and 7th posts and Little Arrow's 1st2nd,3rd, 4th, and 5th at the links.) Maybe someday I'll carve out the time to actually write about our travels again!

The sentiment of the quote that inspired this blog's name rang so true this year. I've never shared the full poem from which it comes.

"On Children"
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 the gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

I have noticed you beginning to realize life beyond yourself. You ask questions about others, about their lives, about their struggles. Admittedly we sometimes tell you to stop being nosy or to quit interrupting when you need one of your million questions answered. My goal in the year ahead is to better help you with your thirst for all the details about the world around you. To share my thoughts, feelings and emotions about life, without pressuring you to necessarily share my world view.

This is the year where I found I couldn't fix all your problems the way I could a skinned knee when you were 2 or a lost stuffed animal at age 5. Your issues are taking on a complexity that can best be handled by you. All decidedly first world, but a big deal for a sensitive 7-year-old. Now 8. You seem to recognize this too, though, and you are getting adept at "handling your business" (a frequent mantra in this house).

I know that this will only increase as the months and years of growing older and more mature stretch before us. I'm confident you're ready for more independence, more self-sufficiency. I hope I am too!

And since this is your virtual baby book... you also spent the bulk of the past year missing your two front teeth and it was quite possibly your most adorable phase yet. And playing lots of sports. And thinking about sports. And reading about sports. And writing about sports. And trying to con us into letting you stay up late to watch sports.

This year, I plan to let you read all the past birthday posts I've written for you. And each year going forward from here, my birthday post won't appear on the internet and will instead just be something personal shared between you and I. As you get older, I find your stories are yours to tell, not mine.

I hope your dad and I have been worthy Bows to you, sweet boy. You are certainly a very fine Arrow to us and everyone who knows and loves you.