Monday, 17 October 2011


Yesterday Ali toddled off and the house went suddenly quiet. Not a great thing, considering that "quiet" and "toddler" go together like "bucket of petrol" and "lit match". So I went to find Ali and prepared myself to douse at least one fire.

I found her sitting zen-like on my bed, reading The Prophet with a look of deep concentration and wisdom on her little face.

A good friend gave Papa and I a copy of this book when we got hitched. It's grown into one of my favourite books over the years. So it filled me with pride to see her reading it, if upside-down.

I love Ali's look of wise concentration. It is not a look that you generally see on two year old kids' faces. It is the sort of look that inevitably makes grown-ups laugh, because seriousness in children is pretty adorable (much to the chagrin of serious children).

It is because of Ali's trademark expression that I tell anyone who will listen that she is going to be a metaphysicist when she grows up.

But who knows where the wind will take her little feet? I can only dream that she outruns me by a million miles.

Which brings me to my favourite passage in the The Prophet.
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. 
Poor Ali is recovering from a bug. She doesn't  get along well with bugs. We've neither of us slept a lot this week, and this passage has been ticking across my interrupted dreams like subtitles.


  1. So glad to hear that she is such a discerning philosopher already. Gibran will keep her on the right track wherever her feet do take her

  2. Sadly she seems to have also discovered the ancient philosophy of 'NO!'.


  3. another Mom from another generation....applauds :)

  4. Love the passage. I've heard it once before but now I have a child I think I've fallen in love with it all over again. Thank you! :-)

  5. Thanks Lorna - having kids is what made it really resonate for me too. Wise guy that Kahlil.

  6. I love that your dreams have subtitles.

  7. Wish they didn't - the subtitles wake me up :(