My children are not my children

May 4, 2015

My children are not my children.

They do not belong to me or their father. Their purpose is not to do my bidding, nor is it to fulfill my own desires. I am merely in the privileged position of watching and seeing them, truly perceiving them as they grow and discover the world and themselves and their place in it.

My children are not my children. They are not required to follow in my footsteps, not expected to like the things I love or hate the things I despise. Instead I am here to help them understand their own reactions and fond feelings or the sudden powerful riptides of grief and anger and fear.

I am not their owner, I am their caretaker, their educator, their guide. I keep them safe enough so they can retreat and collapse in exhaustion and gather strength just long enough so they can romp through the wilds of our world again as caring and contributing creatures.

The children are not mine. That word, mine, does not adequately describe the responsibility and duty that comes with parenting. Mine refers to things I can acquire and discard. Mine implies they are all of my doing, the result of only my labour.

But my children are not mine. The children are the world’s children. Children of our infinite universe, stardust children, simply reconfigured in to these luminous elemental beings, readying to launch themselves in to orbit.

While they are in my care, I will do what I can to shape a good world, to nurture them, guide their energy, to fan their passionate flames and to inspire them to lead a good life.

The children are not my children. All children are mine and yours and ours.

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