“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
The ritual of welcoming a child into the world is a beautiful and sacred one. Many people that I meet these days are "spiritual, not religious" and want to create a joyful welcoming / naming ceremony without the formality of a big white church and liturgy. My husband and I dipped our son in the White River in Vermont, surrounded by family on a sun-soaked beach. It was unforgettable!
To raise a child in present day North America where there are so many distractions from the spiritual life and practices that connect us and bring us joy, it truly takes a village, a community of support. I always include an affirmation of support from the guests who are gathered. This is a wonderful way to strengthen the bonds in a community of any kind.
To create a meaningful welcoming (and if you like, a Naming Ceremony) I will meet with your family and new baby (my favorite part!) and help you imagine and structure a ritual that is perfect for you. This might include welcoming the godparents, blessing the parents, grandparents and child, using the four elements as a blessing ritual, offering a poem, song or spiritual text that's meaningful for you.
Me and baby Cosette at her blessing ceremony
What a sweetheart!