As Respect Life Month wanes, I wanted to retell a beautiful quote which has been dancing in my thoughts like leaves twirling from the trees in October.
Last week, Fr. Lenny Andrie, parochial vicar at the Church of St. Joseph in West St. Paul and the high school chaplain at the Convent of the Visitation, reminded his congregation about something very paramount:
“A child is never a threat, but a cause for celebration.” And then he added, “Often unplanned surprises are the best gifts!”
Being parents to twins who were born to us in the autumn of our years (I was nearly 43 and my husband was 44), I can vouch for the truthfulness of Father’s lovely reminder. Little Michael and Peter–our eighth and ninth children– are now five, and we are so thankful they were born. Our “unplanned surprises” bring so much happiness, even to strangers, that we call their natural gift “Spreading the Joy.”
Here are some ways they have spread the joy:
- They get people smiling in the grocery store and on neighborhood walks.
- Wherever we go, passersby marvel at their matching faces.
- A friend who was dying from prostrate cancer used to come over for enthusiastic hugs, which soothed his aching heart.
- Once, at a swim meet, a college student asked if she could just sit by us and observe our boys as they spoke to each other in “Twin Talk”–their unique language that sounds like alien gibber-jabber.
- When their siblings have a bad day, they reach out to the twins for a cuddle session.
- By watching them play, ailing grandparents are comforted.
- Recently, one twin received a kindergarten award for making a classmate happy. (His buddy was crying in Library because he missed his mommy.)
And some people thought we were crazy having these bonus blessings! Don’t we all need more joy in our lives?