Today my eldest son is four years old. As he disappeared out of the door to nursery just now, he ran back to me as he does every day when I’m around to see him off, for a kiss and cuddle.
Often times, in the middle of playing with Lego or, like this morning, watching him figure out a Transformer, I’ll be drawn into moments of quiet happiness. A spiritual kind of clarity where the presence of him close to me washes away all else. Of course, the next minute, I’m being assaulted by a laughing maelstrom of mischief, complete with our own language like “meatsies” for feet, and “shmambling” for climbing (usually on me.)
As his great–grandmother said not so long ago, kindness is the most precious of human characteristics. He has it in bags. No matter what else I do in this life, I doubt that anything could make me feel more proud or at peace than him, or his little brother. I’m the audience and stage hand to them, and nothing makes me more happy. As Kahil Gilbran said in The Prophet:
“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.”
I’m honoured to be your guide, son. Happy birthday!