Our youngest family member, Levi, is now 10 years old, and he is clever and quick-witted and smart and altogether adorable. "Double digits", as his dad said, and his contributions to the dialogue and the jokes and the conversation this time edged closer than ever to the grown-up world he'll inhabit completely in no time at all.
There is much to say, and I think I might take my time and write about it bit by bit (inspired by my friend Brandee, who continues to delight with the blow-by-blow of her most recent family vacation).
But I do not excel at delayed gratification, and so there is this little bit of shared joy.
Because there is so much joy.
|Sarah and Levi; photo bomb,|
|Chris and Tony|
I think tonight of my Uncle Dave and my cousins Joey and Jimmy and Garth and Andrew and George; of Denise and Jenna and Markus and my brother-in-law Donnie and my Uncle Graham and Aunt Barbara and Zack and of the hundreds of others who are scattered all over the continent. Of Tony's sister and nephew and aunts and uncles and the photos and memories and moments that provide the pinpricks of recognition, as thin as they may be.
I'm not sure that a strong, almost nostalgic value of family is absent among the young; but I can't say that I have ever felt such a passionate fondness for those whose name and bloodlines I share as I do now. The kids grow and root themselves in those of us who cheer them on, as they dig into the richness of the lives they are creating around their passion and desires and those that they have come to love.
And we stand around them, holding the memories in our hands and hearts, amazed at the wonder we behold.
Life is so very good, so rich and full. God reveals himself in the gratitude, and the door opens to possibilities that seem downright endless.
I am grateful.