These children (hardly children anymore) give me the chance to see the miracle unfold. How they are themselves and only themselves, and how they are so much like both their parents - this amazes me. How they change and also continue to be who they always were. They are my chance to see the continuity of personalities and the phenomenal changes at every step.
These are my brother's children. I was working late and couldn't join them for dinner to celebrate his birthday, so they all came over for a visit after I was done. Can you see the fierce determination in my niece's face as she balances for yoga? The elusive and sensitive smile of her sister, who finds her way in from the edges of things? What an open heart my nephew has?
In my office, there is a large painting of my nephew when he was a tiny little boy, and tonight I took a picture of him sitting beside that picture. He's taller then me now, so far from that little boy, and yet to me, he's hardly changed at all.
My brother and my sister-in-law have created and nurtured this family. But we were kids, and somehow still are. How could this be? That's the miracle. And I get to witness it from time to time, while my brother and his beloved do all the hard, hard work.