I have loved and done my best to live by this treatise through raising my/our children.

I was given Kahlil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’ http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-17997163 when I was a teenager. His writing ON CHILDREN was not my main focus then. Perhaps ON LOVE or ON FRIENDSHIP were big draws at that age. (ON TIME would have been helpful too!)

Years later I heard ‘Sweet Honey in The Rock’ sing a striking A cappella rendering of ON CHILDREN.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCVvoL_F5gA  I wrote an arrangement for my then middle school choir. Some of the teens had an adverse response to the lyric – understandable – the inherent threat of not ‘belonging’ to our parents – and them not ‘belonging’ to us can feel unsettling.

I believe if you were to ask my children they would each say I have not lived into Gibran’s principles 100 percent. I know I haven’t. Or maybe they’d say I’ve lived into them too much. All I can do is continue to practice.

And I find it particularly soul searing at times trying to keep that treatise in heart with my/our adult children.

But I see how my dad did that with me in my adulthood. He watched and abided and did not seek to solve. He bore witness to me and my decisions; my own consequences; my own successes and my own falterings.

Now I see wisdom where once I saw unkindness.

Not easy to navigate a true and honoring course while having sights on children – no matter what the age.