Friday, June 09, 2006

Fatherly Love

The joys of fatherhood defy description but their wonder insists that I convey something. Rushing trying to get out of the house to work this morning, but all time stopped when the new daughter reached out with her eyes and started interacting. Her eyes grow continually more alert, focussed and full of portent as the weeks go by (week 6 is upon us). I danced with her in my arms, her gaze steady up at me, pressing her hair into my left arm, looking as quiet, alert, and relaxed as possible for any human, bonding by any other name. Couldn't conceive of running out the door just then. Got that beautiful sunset, height of the party, indelible moment, oh yeah, THIS is having fun feeling that pulled no punches. The gaze we shared allowed vast galaxies of understanding to flow between us, felt like standing next to a mighty river as it slips over a cliff, ever deep and humbling.

The boy also never ceases to amaze. He asked his mom "Can we go to Burning Man?" out of blue the other day, after looking at one of our framed photos. Saw a new purple tie-dye dress his sister got, and stated with a certainty that made us wonder "That's for concerts". A rocker and a roller, right on out of controller, just like his Papi.

He misses the breastfeeding he sees the girl getting, lays down as close as possible to the action, and has perfected projecting the eyes and look of an infant at will. He gets upset if I work late, and doles out love like nobody else. We share the moon, the stars, the wildlife, tasty foods, good music, love of water, so many blessings.

Like 50 Cent raps: "If I die tomorrow I'm happy how my life turned out". Hard to feel less than fulfilled with so much timeless wonder in my hands. No less than all the time in the world for whatever other summits line themselves up. This will be the summer I teach the boy to swim. Think back to when you learned to swim, assuming you know how. Now let's live it again, good as it gets.

Heard that Sweet Honey in the Rock song based on the Khalil Gibran poem "Children", and it hit me like never before, strong, strong, wise. Poem reprinted here for easy perusal:


And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, 'Speak to us of Children.'

And he said:

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 goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;

For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

--Kahlil Gibran

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