My youngest daughter and my oldest son each have a birthday later this month. The day before their birth we didn’t know them, but in one spectacular instant they each became as much a part of our family as my wife and I.
This experience of instant bonds and connections is unique to families. In any company, team, neighborhood or even church organization there is always a period of adjustment where you get to know others and they get to know you before you find your “niche”. Not so with a family. Upon arrival there is instant acceptance and love. What an awesome phenomenon!
Love is an interesting aspect of the human experience. There isn’t only so much to go around, it is created with every new relationship we form. I first learned this on my mission when I began to care so deeply about the people I was interacting with on a daily basis.
The experience became even more powerful as I began dating the woman who would eventually become my wife. I was amazed at the heart’s capacity for love. When my wife and I got married I felt like a new door in my heart was opened. A room I didn’t even know existed was suddenly thrown open for me to explore. I had no idea that so much love could be felt for another person. During the ensuing 15 years I have found that not only is this room always new, it is always growing. Fifteen years from now I will look back on my feelings for her today and say “I didn’t know anything about love back then.”
With each of my children’s arrival this experience has repeated itself. The love I feel for each child is not taken away from anyone else, but a new room in my heart is built for that person and the door is thrown wide open for me to enter.
I am personally grateful for the blessing of love in our lives, especially the love that is found in families. It adds a sweetness and flavor that colors our entire existence.
So, as I celebrate my children’s birthdays this month I will also celebrate the love that each of my family members brings into my life. Life is worth living because of the love that is in it.