“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, at their school. 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 presented themselves to me amidst the hustle-and-bustle of doctors and nurses.
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 “measures, weights, and testing.” It seemed like yesterday that I was given that precious smelling bundle to hold. As I looked into her face, it is though I were peering into the face of God. And I could hear the nurse say, amidst the sound of a ticking clock: “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 the university. However, with my wife’s contingent blessing that my cell phone be turned on, I went. Half-way through my lecture, with that phone perched high atop the lectern, it began to ring. Quickly, I remember dismissing my class, driving home, and departing 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.