A Son’s Milestone Birthday…

Some favorite lines of mine from poems about sons are from A Soldiers Prayer for his Son by Gen Douglas MacArthur and Abraham Lincoln’s My Son…both these poems are poignantly definitive and have always resonated with Prayers for Children as also the prayer that I have been able to truly help my Children walk through life with the inner strength and integrity to do the right thing…knowing that nobody is going to know you did it or not! These cherished lines are from a treasured poem plaque my eldest once gave me
…sometimes when I think of Mom
I think of what she Took
She took a child and taught it how
To live this life with pride
She took the hands that longed to hold…
Her child and not let go
Used them to push her child along
The way to thrive and grow….

My two elder Children are celebrating what we now call…’milestone’ birthdays this year…my eldest son celebrates his today…and even though for me all their days are such…my thoughts go back to search…recall…review…tear over…reminiscence…with awe and a deeply felt sense of pure happiness at the wonder that has been my life as my children’s mother! This journey has been one of such incredibly powerful experiences in all aspects of my being…that it is by far my life’s greatest joy and blessing and gives me a sense of ‘non pareil’ accomplishment…and although I do believe that ‘having a child is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body’…often in far away lands…my children are all truly the joyous mainstays of my life…

Seeing this beloved son of mine live his life in a matrix of the search for excellence in all he does has been a learning experience for me too…his focus…commitment…hard work…humility…strength…choices…faith….accompanied by a compassionate and loving heart…has made mine sing so very  often…seeing some of his goals coming to fruition, specially now at such an opportune time in his life, makes my heart swell with pride and thankfulness…above all, his gentle concern…care…and love for all of us has truly been the icing on the cake…Khalil Gibran said….your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you, as by the attitude you bring to life…Not so much by what happens to you, as by the way your mind looks at what happens to you…I feel so very thankful to the Good Lord that you have understood this Usman…and pray you will always work to being the best that the Good Lord meant for you to be…believeing that the ultimate Wisdom of God is greater than ours and that we have to trust Him to guide and help us…Amen!

Happy Birthday Son…I feel so very blessed to have a son like you and in the language of your generation…you rock my world…

Happy Birthday Son…

It is my older son’s birthday today…I am on a transatlantic flight and although when I alight at my destination, it will still be his birthday for me…it will not be so for him…our lives seem almost surreal at times they have changed so much…but the one aspect…connection…link that is irrefutable and unchangeable…is the connective tissue of the mother to the child! There is a sort of magic that happens when you have a child…and through varying stages…ages…times…when the magic is not always so readily on tap…it is never really too far below the surface to tap into…motherhood has a special gene for this…the Good Lord be praised…

As mothers, our lives rarely follow a straight path…for obvious and natural reasons sometimes…but the discovery of self through your children is a journey of great learning…development…and unparalleled joy…interrupted often…but a ride worth every moment of it’s duration…finding oneself in the sandpits is often…playing the par course…but the journey is one of such incredible love…joy…fun…laughter…tears…angst…humility…pride…up to a day like this, when you can write about it with your head held high…thankful for the blessing of being able to say with bursting joy and pride…humility and thankfulness…This is my son!

The unparalleled joy of seeing a child exactly where he is supposed to be…be in harmony with his heart and universal truths…be able to remake himself and his goals with the passage of time and experience…be ready to explore and learn the power and depth of personal strengths…to have the insight to accept and understand the power of prayer in the development of character…to wisely use his heart and the Divine as a source of real power…is a blessing par excellence!

The prayer is that he will always be able to understand and accept his calling as opposed to fame…continue this path of discovery whilst maintaining dignity of choice…share his calling and gifts in the help of others…understand that we are the sum of the wisdom of the Divine and ancients, and be able to embrace this wisdom…sagacity…values…whilst taking responsibility for his own special positive energy that is his space…continue to develop and hone his innate goodness…and always continue to be the source of joy and pride he has always been…the prayer above all is, that he is able to use his God given gifts to propel himself to be the best that the Good Lord meant for him to be…always…Amen…

Prayers for children….

These lines were written by Abraham Lincoln to his son’s tutor upon his joining school…these were our prayers too for all our children…not articulated as well….but always there…

Treat him gently…but do not coddle him because only the test of fire makes fine steel.
Let him have the courage to be impatient…let him have te patience to be brave.
Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself…because then he will always have sublime faith in mankind.
He will have to learn that all men are not just…all men are not true.
But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero…that for every selfish politician there is a dedicated leader.
Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend.
It will take time, I know, but teach him if you can, that a dollar earned is of far more value than…five found!
Teach him to learn to lose and also…to enjoy winning!
Let him keep away from envy and learn that bullies are the easiest to lick!
Teach him if you please, the wonder of books…but also give him quiet time to ponder over the eternal mystery of birds in the sky…bees in the sun…and flowers on a green hillside.
This is a big order…but see what you can do…
He is such a fine little fellow…My son!
In school teach him that it is far more honorable to fail…than to cheat!
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas even if everyone tells him they are wrong!
Teach him to listen to all…but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth and take only the good that comes through!
Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and tough with the tough!
Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone is getting on the bandwagon!
Teach him to laugh when he is sad…and that there is no shame in tears!
Teach him to scoff at cynics and to beware of too much sweetness!
Teach him to sell his brawn to the highest bidder…but never to put a price on his heart and soul!

This powerful, inspiring and commendable prayer from a great man…is above all a parent ‘s prayer…these are universal truths…hopes…ambitions…prayers…and resonate with parents across the globe.

My youngest son, whose birthday it is today is well out of school classrooms…but these are prayers that are ever pertinent…and dedicated to him above all today. I am so very proud of all that he has grown into and achieved…his gentle and soft nature…his ability to bring laughter and sunshine to my world…his humanity and compassion…my prayer for him is that the Good Lord will always help and guide him and help him face and handle all the challenges that force us all to search for our center of gravity…to stay the course and accept that it takes both the rain and the sunshine to make a…rainbow! Amen….

Ask…and you shall receive…

Sometimes it is the most inconsequential…trivial…unimportant things that bring home, this basic tenet of faith, with a bang…I feel strongly that asking for…more…with all that has been bestowed upon me so graciously and munificently may be a bit greedy…but there is no denying this basic tenet of belief systems across the board…

It is also when this grace is manifested voluntarily…repeatedly…graciously…that the ‘asking’ gives one room to ponder whilst acknowledging His grace. The ‘receiving’ is so random…regular…across the board…be it a last minute preferred seat allocation on an air journey…a shoe size for that shoe you must have…finding the perfect present for the loved one who has everything…a dining reservation opening up at that impossible to-get-restaurant…temperate weather for al-fresco entertainment…that unexpected but desired visit,call…love and friendships that make the heart sing…sleep in times of stress…the son,daughter,nephew,niece getting into the university,course,job they were wanting…an urgent dispensation regarding the health of near and dear ones…solace in the comfort zone of family…prayer for length of days for your near and dear…the list is wide ranging and stretches from the trivial to the life changing and is endless…spanning a life and…a life time…

When it is all given readily….magnanimously…repeatedly…we often think…we should have asked for something bigger…something more important…just…more…forgetting that at that point of time, that was obviously what was the most important and needed…which brings home the sad fact that we are very often ungrateful and demonstrate a real lack of grace and humility in the ‘asking’ and the ‘receiving’…

Renewal of Faith…

We have a saying…custom…belief…about the evil eye…how an excess of good/happiness must ward off the evil eye with certain prayers…and although most of us will pooh-pooh the idea, there are definitely times when it is frighteningly true…or so it certainly seems at the time…

Last week, after a glut of joyous bonhomie, an incident with a loved one, my son, had me thinking just this…as also remembering my mother who believed in this unequivocally, made no bones about it…and let everyone know…in case they thought otherwise…but then, they don’t make them like her anymore…

The manner in which he handled the whole incident…the calm…poise…practicality…understated acceptance…gave me wings of pride.. His attitude towards the incident set the tone for the rest of us…As Khalil Gibran so wisely said…Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you, as by the attitude you bring to life…not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens to you…this was done in quite an exemplary manner…

I do believe that, determined by your attitude, the Good Lord then sets the pace for the next set of incidents…action…in motion…and miraculously the whole incident was reversed in a manner that is hard to explain…quite unbelievable…but there it is…the test of renewal of faith, based on the acceptance of a greater plan…