Your children

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 does not go backward,
nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows,
from which your children,
as living arrows,
are sent forth.

Kahlil Gibran