We have been thinking about our children — four of the five celebrate birthdays between Oct.28 and Dec. 22 and at home we referred to this as the birthday season. [We threw in Thanksgiving on the side]. Originally, Tom and I were told we would never have children. However after our daughter and first son were born, the obstetrician changed his prognosis. We were grateful that the Lord trusted us with two, and we thought our family complete. Five years later we were blessed with another son and 17 months later another. Such delight—Erin and Ben developed their “teaching” skills, and Neal, though still a baby himself became the protector of his little brudder. To our great joy, after 5 more years and with much difficulty, we added another son, Tal. We all knew that he was destined to be part of us and Hugh readily accepted his new role as big brother. As we contemplate that our oldest will be 42 and our youngest 29, I am reminded of the truthfulness of the song from the musical Fiddler On The Roof:
Where is the little girl I carried ?
Where is the little boy at play?
I don’t remember growing older
When did they?
When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he grow to be so tall ?
Wasn’t it yesterday when they were small?
Sunrise, sunset, quickly go the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears.
We have had many seasons of happiness and some of struggle and disappointment but have realized the necessity to “Be still and know that I am God”. From our five we have learned about agency, diligence, patience, love, humor, trust, and to hang on for the ride of our lives. Oh, the places we’ll go and the places we’ve been. We pay tribute to them and to their extraordinary spouses, and are eternally grateful that our children continue to care for each other and share a deep mutual affection.