“Come with me, and you’ll be, in a world of pure imagination. Take a look, and you’ll see into your imagination. We’ll begin with a spin, traveling in the world of my creation. What we’ll see will defy explanation. If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it. Anything you want to, do it. Wanta change the world? There’s nothing to it.”
This past Saturday, my two oldest daughters performed in the play, Willy Wonka Jr. Having received their parts months ago (Charlie Bucket and Augustus Gloop), the many practice sessions have left the words and songs ringing in my ears; so much so, that I have begun to think that even I could step on stage and perform.
As I sat and watched these budding actresses, I found myself drifting back to the hospital delivery rooms where each of them, amidst the hustle-and-bustle of doctors and nurses, first presented themselves to me.
For our first, I remember sitting in a small rocker near the foot of my wife’s bed when the nurse carried her away for what I have come to describe as “weights and measures.” It seems like yesterday that I was given that precious smelling bundle to hold. Upon receiving her in my arms, it was though I were peering into the face of God as the nurse intoned: “Your daughter is ten-minutes old.”
Eleven months later came the arrival of the second of our Irish twins. On the day of her birth, I was scheduled to teach an evening class at a local university. With my wife’s blessing, I went with a promise that my phone be in clear view. Half-way through my lecture, perched atop the lectern, it began to ring. Quickly, I dismissed my class, drove home, and we departed for the hospital. Just three hours later, at 1 a.m., I cut the umbilical cord to receive yet another of God’s blessings— a baby girl to hold and love.
These many years later, my wife and I have been blessed with five children: each special, each unique, each a gift from God. For those who have received the gift of a child and have gazed deeply into their eyes, that which is seen defies explanation.
If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it.