I wish that I could say that I have children of my own to cuddle and hold. The fact is, I have two children in heaven, and a lovely nine-year old niece who is the joy of our families.
It often aches in my heart when I hear a son or daughter call out “Daddy” to her father. Be that as it may, the lack of a child to shower love on does not render me an incompetent observer and chronicler.
So, I felt that it would be wise to prepare myself for the role by asking what I would want of my son/s or daugher/s. So to the Creator of the Universe, here is my prayer.
Should it ever fall on me to fulfil that role called Father, then may I have a son or daughter who will know from the beginning, how special he or she is.
That this is a special child handmade for me, and that You broke the mould after the birth so he or she is limited edition.
May I never ever have the desire to look at my child through my eyes, and seek to fulfil my dreams or heartaches through them, but instead realise that they are their own persons, with their own dreams and desires. May I always remember that they are, as Your poet Kahlil Gibran used to say, “on loan” to us for a time, and we are honoured to lead and nurture them.
May the magic of wonder, love and learning new things never depart from my child or children. When they fall, give them the strength and courage to pick themselves up and move on.
Give them the strength to know when they are weak and the bravery to face themselves when they are afraid. Grant them the humility and grace in honest defeat, and the gentleness and open-heartedness in victory.
Give them the capacity to work hard and give of their best in whatever is given to them, be it the mantle of leadership or the obscurity of being the lowest-ranked. When they reach their pinnacles of success, give them the humility to remember where and how they began and take away any inclination to lord over their peers or juniors.
May they know to dream, and yet not be mastered by dreams. May they know how to think, and yet not live for thoughts. O Creator, give them the tenacity and courage to match dreams and thoughts with honest deeds and endurance to pursue their dreams to the end.
Lead them not in ease and comfort, but help them endure the storms of difficulties and challenge. And when they have weathered the storms, may they, in turn, have compassion for those who fail.
Grant them the desire to know You, the fount of knowledge, and the realisation that knowing You and themselves makes for a complete life.
Give my sons and daughters clear hearts and eyes that see not just the outside but into the hearts of men and women. Enable them to dream high and big, and master themselves before they seek to lead others. Lead them to their future but may they never forget their past.
For my son, give him the humility and wisdom to treat everyone with respect. May he remember to see his mother, cousins, sister/s, nieces, mother, aunt and grandmother in every woman or girl he meets.
Likewise, may my daughter see her father, brother/s, cousins, nephews, uncle and grandfather in every man she comes across.
Let them know that this is still Your beautiful and wonderful world, despite the flaws and horrors. As you give them tenacity and the will to face their challenges, please temper them with a sense of humour so that they never take themselves too seriously.
Give them humility so that they may always know that true greatness is simple, true wisdom in an open mind, and true strength in weakness and brokenness.
Grant this my prayer O God, and I shall ask no other, except that I may tell my offspring: “I am proud of you and my life was not in vain.”
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