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,
They do not belong to you.
Treat your children well
When Rev. Howard Hanger, Minister of Ritual at Jubilee!, baptizes a baby, his evoking charge to the parents is the highlight of the ritual for me: “Will you raise this child to be the person God meant her to be, not the person you think she should be? If you will, say ‘I will.’”
Many of us have unfulfilled dreams and visions, and if we are not conscious of these aspirations, we may pass them on to our kids in the vain hope that they might live out our forsaken dreams for us. On the other hand, we may just want what we consider best for our child. Yet what we consider best might not be.
Each child who enters the world is unique, each with her own special gift. Our job is to love and respect them unconditionally just as they are, open the door to as many opportunities for growth and awareness as possible, then let them spread their wings and fly. We don’t have to tell them what to do or how to be; they already know much better than we.
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“Treat your children well” is an excerpt from my soon-to-be-published book Happiness Now! Gracelyn’s baptism at Jubilee will take place on May 29, 12 years (minus one day) from the date Howard Hanger, along with our friend Ken Kinnett, performed our marriage ceremony.