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“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.”
There’s a certain truth that many parents are not expecting, particularly when that moment comes that you see the top of your child’s little noggin for the first time. It’s a truth my own parents never prepared me for, and it’s certainly a truth I never have read about in regard to parenting.
If I had to sum it up simply: parenting is beautiful heartbreak.
I don’t mean heartbreak in the sense of the summer love of your junior year of high school. Not even the heartbreak discovered in those post-adolescent relationships that have the fire but also the cynicism of the rejection of youth’s idealism.
It is a love I wasn’t prepared for and perhaps never will be. It’s the sort of love where you have some angry screaming mess of a person, barely three feet tall, letting you know just how angry they are at you, and perhaps in the days and weeks that pass will you’ll come to view that moment with a sort of bitter joy. I watch my daughters grow, day in and day out, and as I watch them I move beyond what I thought defined what it meant to be a father or a parent.
I used to laugh when my first daughter was born, when we were out in public and she was still an infant, when those far older than I am would tell me,
“Enjoy it while it’s still here.”
Perhaps it is needless nostalgia, but I can still remember the smell of her head fresh from her little baths in an inch of water. I suppose that’s the other part of such a truth, at least as much of a truth as this beautiful heartbreak can be, is the simple joys that come of all things with our children.
(Written by my husband, Liam)