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Mother’s Day thoughts: ‘Your children are not your children, they are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself’

Mother’s Day is a special tradition celebrated on various days in many parts of the world.

I am from El Salvador and our Mother’s Day celebration was on May 10.

It’s an important date in our culture, and it’s even marked as a national holiday in our calendar.

This is the second year in a row I have not been able to bring flowers to my mother, take her out to eat or go to the movies as we used to do when I was at home.

However, I am sure I am not the only one who missed my mother or wished she was around on Mother’s Day .

This is why I decided to ask to two special women what Mother’s Day means to them: Blanca, my mother, who is in El Salvador right now, and Kalpana Vijayavarathan, who is originally from India but who now lives in the Faroe Islands.

Blanca points out that to her, every day is a Mother’s Day.

“If your mother is still alive, then try to honor her and listen to her advice. Enjoy her company, and do not take her for granted because a mother is a shouting star that comes through your life only once. You won’t get a replacement. And if your mother is gone, then always remember her with love and respect,” Blanca notes.

Kalpana elaborates and discusses the challenges of being a mother.

“The fact that it’s Mother’s day got me thinking. When I accepted the challenge and joys of motherhood, I thank my lucky stars that I did not know what was waiting for me. Before anyone becomes dismayed, I think I should tell you why: if I were to imagine motherhood as a fishing net (a nod to my adopted Faroese culture) against the backdrop of a rainbow (a nod to one of nature’s beautiful phenomenon), I think I can safely say I’ve captured the ethos of it.

Rainbow, fishing net – what on earth? Well, you see, to me it makes complete sense.”

Kalpana explains more closely:

“Children are like the multifaceted rainbow hues. During life’s journey, they develop in the interaction between themselves and their environments. Through the reflection of their personalities and circumstances, they blossom in various ways, not unlike the rainbow. As a mother, I can never capture the complete individuals that my children are. It’s like looking at them through the fishing net.

“See, I told you it would make sense,” states Kalpana, adding:

“As the ropes of the net hide parts of the rainbow, I’m unable to see the rainbow fully. This is because I have preconceived ideas and expectations of my children that they cannot possibly know or fulfill. Their lives are their own. Yes, I advise them (if you know nothing about Indian mothers, you should know this!). But I’m a Faroese mother too (here’s where the justified <laissez faire> creeps in!).

“In all the confusion of motherhood, I’m caught in the net that is me. I struggle to remember that the ups and downs of my children’s lives are something they have to cope with themselves. As I don’t see the complete picture, I know all I can do is be there for them – when and if they need me. I trust that they know I’m always there. Perhaps, in my imagined or real struggles in motherhood, I don’t tell them often enough that they are my rainbows.

In their ephemeral beauty of being, my sons are not my own – they are mine to pass on. Letting my boys undertake the adventure of life and create their rainbows where they must is what I have to learn,” Kalpana concludes.

Khalil Gibran’s (1883 – 1931) words might make better sense:

“…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…”


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