Being :: Mama

January 7, 2013

Being: Conscious, mortal existence; life.

Every month we welcome two families, two people, two voices to share their stories in whatever way they choose. We hope that you find joy in their daily lives, and their simple habit of just being. 


Sometimes we are given just what we need, in just the right moment.

Recently, while looking for something else entirely, I stumbled upon a nearly-forgotten (at least from my mind) passage from Kahlil Gibrans’s The Prophet. It spoke to me quietly, gently tugging my heart and giving me pause.  Almost without thought, I made tea, pulled up a knit shawl, and re-read the old words in the quiet stillness of my post-bedtime living room.

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.”

Oh, this truth. It runs deep.

Before nearly all else, I am a mother. Down to my bones I am the one who goes about the business of mothering, daily and yearly now, in joy and thanks for the sacred trust of being responsible for other human lives. Yet I too often forget the context.

My children are not mine.

Often as I dote, hover, and fuss over my three babes, I forget these small people are not possessions of mine; they are not empty vessels which I may fill up with my values and ideas. They are souls on their own journey- one that has coincided with mine for a time.  They will do their own learning and loving, and will find their own way. I sometimes forget that my light needn’t shine through my children because they have their own brightness to share with the world, different and unique from mine.

We are given just what we need, at just the time we need it.

Happening once again upon Gibran’s wise old words gently pulls my awareness to this simple truth about all children: no matter how much we love them, they are not our own. We mothers bring them forth into the world, and yet they are not part of us: they are their own. Beautiful. Though we clean, feed, hold, and rock these babes of ours, they no more belong to us than the leaves swirling in the wind on a fall day. We are granted the privilege of guiding these souls for a short while, and the gift of watching them grow into their own beauty.

Still, I sometimes struggle to let go.

This month we are so pleased to welcome Emily to the Being series here on the blog. Emily is a mama to three who blogs about her family’s journey along the path of slow and simple living on her blog, Simple Little Home.  Welcome, Emily!


Rhythm of the Home is an online magazine for families that focuses on creating with children, nature explorations, seasonal celebrations, conscious parenting, and mindfulness in all that we do.   To learn more about us, please visit us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

We welcome new submissions for our upcoming seasons. To learn more about submitting, please visit our magazine.


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Arianne--Stillparenting January 7, 2013 at 4:19 pm

I have always treasured the words of Gibran. They’re full of peace and wisdom. Thanks for this lovely post.

Mary Lynne Johnson January 7, 2013 at 9:37 pm

This is beautiful, Emily. I needed to read this tonight. Having just put my 29-year-old Ben on a plane back to California yesterday, I am comforted and chastened by K. Gibran’s words. I continue to struggle with letting go. Thank you for sharing.

Melinda--Marshmallow Mudpie January 8, 2013 at 6:16 am

Feeling so glad to have stumbled across this post. Beautiful words and such a wonderful reminder.

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