From Poldark to mindful parenting....

by Marie Renaud

For those of you following Sunday night‘s essential viewing in the UK: Poldark,  Ross Poldark learns of his wife’s pregnancy in times of extreme penury, she had been fearing his reaction as he had said they could not possibly bring a child to the world under such extreme circumstances, he said to her “but a child is not a thought, it is flesh and blood, that is different…”

A conceived child is indeed different, not just a thought anymore and having worked with families for decades, the thoughts and expectations of parents for their forthcoming child can continue once he or she is born and shape her future with expectations that can also be a burden…I understood that myself when I was a young adolescent and following a fierce argument with my parents, I wrote out what I considered to be the Declaration of Independence for children which Khalil Gibran put into such beautiful words:

 

“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, they do not belong 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….

 

When my own children were born, I was first struck by their complete individuality, their difference, what an extraordinary gift to be able to uncover, discover and support the growth of an individual and another….

Of course I recognise a trait, a way of thinking, but in such an original combination that it is just a resemblance…not a true likeness….

The fact that both my children are moving in worlds and circles that are totally alien to me is a testament to the practice of the teachings of Khalil Gibran…