This is where it began. At least this was my contributions to the family tree.
Those were the days. They were often days when I wondered if ever I would sleep through the night. They were days of strewn toys, skinned knees, peanut-butter kisses, dandelion bouquets (mommy orchids, I called them) and joy.
We grew up together, these four and I, the daddy often away from the home.
I played along with them, delighting in them. It never occurred to me to do otherwise.
I was young and ignorant so followed what I knew from my own mamma's example. As it turned out, that was the best example possible, Praise God.
Then these four grew and did their part to increase the tribe, yea verily.
These four, now eight begat nine.
Never in my wildest imaginings could I have conjured up the incomparable delight of that new generation. Such fruit, such reward! Such treasures and delights!
Watching my children parent, lovingly, patiently, wisely was something of wonder. The resulting twigs that grew enriched our lives unspeakably and continue to do so. Who could imagine such beauties, such antics and wit, such laughter and song?
And now. Now those darlings are grown. They too are beginning to marry and to add to our well-root tree.
Great-Grands! Joy bringing, heart bursting, hug giving wonder surpassing all else.
And this year, once again, still more will be added. Sisters Three are in happy production for the delight of us all. When Spring is blooming, there should be, Lord willing, an new total of three. This will make the grand Grand total seven.
Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined all this. To have lived long enough to see this coming generation, to have my wits about me - mostly - to actively enjoy and take a small part in their lives - in truth, words fail.
Here now is our most recent sprig with two sprouts yet to come.
Wee Joseph Michael is the lad of the moment. The newest, most precious addition.
This old woman can't help but rejoice and sing along with the Psalmist:
O God, from my youth you have taught me,
and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
So even to old age and gray hairs, O God,
do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might to another generation,
Your power to all those to come.
I find myself like Mary who
"...treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart."