We welcomed our 12th grandchild into the family this month. It reminds me that when we stopped having children, I suffered a mild depression that no more little babies would be coming into our life. I dreamed that we had one more little boy, whose name was Michael. But after five births, and nearly losing her life over one of them, my wife and I decided we would do well to take care of those we had.
I loved all my children with all my heart. They taught me that there is no limit to love, which can expand infinitely to cover all those it needs to. I loved my children at all the stages of their lives, and my best memories involve watching them play with each other, with me, and with my wife-- another person that I love with all my heart.
When they grew up, I imagined all the bad things that can happen to a young person, and prepared myself in case any should befall my own children. Having lost one of them quite unexpectedly at age five, I was fully aware that life might not be all roses for them, and I knew the kind of heartache that comes when disaster strikes.
But they grew up well. None of those imagined disasters struck. I watched them develop into mature, thinking, competent people who I am proud to know.
And then, to my joy, the little babies began arriving again! I became a grandparent! Each little one came to bring joy to their parents, and especially (in my case) to their grandparents. I had not thought through this grandparent business, and wasn't prepared for the intense joy that it brings.
They came one at a time, giving us all time to get to know them and to love each one of them individually for a time. Each one was so perfect when he or she arrived. Each one so fresh from the presence of God.
Seventeen times this has happened to me! Once for each of my children, and once for each of my grandchildren. I sang to each of them as I held them in my arms -- nonsense songs and tunes made up just for each one of them. I don't feel foolish singing to the little babies, because I can see that the little babies look up at me and smile at my songs. Sometimes they will laugh -- that infectious baby laugh that is made up entirely of pure delight, and then everyone within hearing laughs along with them.
I am more thankful than I can ever say to see the marriages made by each of my children. Each one of them has chosen well. Each one of them has prepared well to make a good marriage. Each one of them has brought into the family a person we have come to love as our own children. And, each of them has brought little babies into the family -- babies we have loved from before they are even born.
Thank you, my children, that I have such joy in my posterity!