Tag Archives: Living Arrows

Living Arrows in January: how we get lost

Photo 04-01-2016, 1 05 26 pm (800x640)

(Living Arrows is a portrait project run by Hayley at the Shutterflies blog, capturing the little moments of childhood. The title comes from a Kahlil Gibran poem called ‘Children’, which I’ve reproduced at the end of this post. It’s supposed to be one a week, which I definitely don’t have the staying power for, alas; but I thought doing one a month would be a nice record and encourage me to get the big camera out more often. Hope you enjoy!)

I’ve read a couple of articles recently about letting children off the leash. Not straining to fill their every hour or worrying constantly about their development, just letting them entertain themselves and be children.

I think it’s a great idea in theory. Or maybe a great idea in a few years. Though I try my hardest to shoo the boys towards their toys and independent play, they want to include me constantly. They ping back towards me one after the other, wanting my opinion, my approval, my ability to put right an injustice. It’s like they’re a gang, and I’m the ringleader. Well, obviously, I can’t deny my street cred. It’s not that I want to be a helicopter parent; it’s just that, at the moment, they and I don’t know any other way to be.

The only activity they truly don’t need me for is screen time. So I save that for the witching hour, otherwise we’d never eat dinner, ever.

That’s why I like getting out to the woods (also because if I go too long without walking I start feeling claustrophobic, which I realised for the first time this Christmas. Blimey. Am I one of those people now?). They don’t need my approval for puddles, or stone-throwing, or poking things with giant sticks. It doesn’t matter if they get dirty, though my car and the washing machine weep bitter tears when we get home.

They still both like to keep me in sight. But it’s as though the very short pieces of elastic that connect me to both of them get to stretch out a little.

And T kept his bear hat on for a good half hour this time. Re-sult.

Living Arrows

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.

Kahlil Gibran

Living arrows: how we laugh

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 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.
For your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even he loves the arrow that flies, so loves also the bow that is stable.

Kahlil Gibran

Hello, friends.

I am a tiny bit overwhelmed by life, the universe and everything at the moment, so just something short today. There’s a weekly project on I Heart Snapping blog called Living Arrows, all about photos that capture a moment in the life of a child. The title comes from the passage by Kahlil Gibran above. I love the thought that our children are part of us but separate too: that we’ll send them forward into days we’ll never see, that all we can do is steady their forward leap, and watch their paths with our mouths open.

Today the boys had simultaneous nappy explosions after their afternoon naps. I don’t know what they’ve eaten, but in Teddy’s case I’m willing to bet it came from the floor. I showered them both off and plopped them down into sunshine on Henry’s bed.

Sometimes, and that minute was one of them, they are just delighted with themselves and each other, with the twosomeness of the two of them. Henry pulls out his repertoire of faces; Teddy laughs; Henry laughs harder. I can see down the years like a tunnel, and imagine them gangly-limbed and cracking each other up at my expense, light on their faces, potty training miles behind them and bigger, brighter, more sanitary milestones ahead.

SAM_5459

living arrows
%d bloggers like this: