When the Kids leave Home

The first time I read this poem by Khalil Gibran, I was only a daughter and the message I received with his words made me grow. His works became bedside books for a teenage girl looking for her way.

Now I am a mother and when my children leave my home, I find strength in these very words.

     On Children

     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.

12 thoughts on “When the Kids leave Home

  1. I am so glad you posted this, Ana. It comes at just the right time as we care for my dear father-in-law, who is 94 and is fading away. This poem is a great touchstone for us–looking ahead to future generations and looking back at past ones. Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Patti. I’ve always found much comfort in Gibran’s words. You are living difficult moments, the goodbyes are always very hard, a lot of encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks to you, Ann-Christine. For a long time his books were my favorite readings, now I have them a little forgotten, but from time to time, they come back to my memory.


  2. What a beautiful poem! He is correct, but sometimes we hang on to our kids. While raising them we were defined by who they were and who they became. When we let them leave the nest, we need to redefine ourselves. That’s hard.

    Liked by 1 person

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