Saturday, 14 July 2007

My birthday boy

My oldest son, B, turns 10 tomorrow! I can hardly believe that, considering how sick he was when he was born.

I will never forget the first time I had a look at him, several hours after giving birth, because he was barely alive when he was born and the doctors ran off with him to the NICU right away. He was violet and swollen and seemed huge in comparison to all the other babies in the NICU. I only caught a glimpse of his feet, due to all the alarms and machines surrounding him. The first doctor I met in the NICU told me he would probably not live for more than a few days so it would be best if I didn't get too attached to him.

Every year, when his birthday comes closer, I get really, really stressed, because I remember her words and that reminds me of the futility of life. My baby does not belong to me. I just borrowed him for a while and God can take him back without a moment's notice.

And I love my son so very much! He is my most precious treasure and my biggest joy in life. I'm so proud of him!

I want to share with you a chapter from one of my favourite books, "The Prophet" by Gibran Khalil Gibran, a Lebanese Maronite who lived 1883 - 1931.

And a woman who held a baby against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children."

And he said:

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.