By Estelle Sobel Erasmus
I look into my daughter’s eyes and I see myself reflected in them. But more than that…I see all the colors of emotion that a five-year old is capable of.
I see joy: in the fact that she can swim the length of an Olympic-size pool (albeit, with lots of breaks).
I see trust in men (whether I’m comfortable with that or not is another story). The only reason she is so comfortable with men is because of her close relationship with my husband; which sometimes leaves me feeling like a third wheel, but I oddly enough, I would have it no other way.
I see certainty, that she can rest in the comfort of my love; that I will be there to catch her (and not just because I hover, which I have been known to do).
I see a zest for life, every time we dance together for no reason at all, or because she has picked up my habit of making up songs and singing them to herself and others.
I see everything that I was not, and everything I once was, and yet we are completely different people.
I see that one day she will fly away, and I will look after her with tearful pride, knowing that every day she has been in our care, my husband and I have worked with her to build to that moment.
For more about my daughter: And She Danced
This poem reflects the way we are raising her:
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.
What do you see when you look in your child/children’s eyes?