Earlier this week I was in Houston visiting my daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. I attended my third annual Grandparents Day at my granddaughter’s school. It is a lovely affair that begins with a breakfast, followed by entertainment courtesy of the music department, and concluding with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Carmen and I look foward to it every year and it is becoming a sweet tradition we share.
One of the great blessings in my life is being a grandparent. These little ones teach me so much. Take Carmen, for example. She became a big sister on May 1 when her baby brother, Matthew Anthony, was born. I have seen so many beautiful qualities developing in her since that time. Virtues, really.
Carmen treats Matthew with patience, kindness, thoughtfulness. Much to his delight, she gleefully rushes to him when she sees him after school. She plays with him, dotes on him, and tells everyone she meets that he is her baby brother. Plain and simple, she loves him.
Frankly, I wondered how Carmen would handle his arrival. She had been an only child for five years and very accustomed to Mommy’s and Daddy’s full attention. I’ve witnessed other situations where older only children have not been very welcoming to a new sibling. But, Matthew’s birth has enriched her personhood and enhanced her lovely feminine graces.
Change can do that. It holds the possibility for us to expand as persons, grow in virtue, develop as individuals. Change can help us discover character strengths we never knew we had and bring to the surface latent talents and gifts. I suppose it really depends on attitude and openness of heart: an attitude of gratitude for that which God is entrusting to us, and an openness of heart to explore the opportunities the change may hold.
This has taught me a lot. And given me pause for reflection. Maybe you, too. To what extent do I embrace change with an attitude of gratitude and with openness of heart? I know one thing — I will be thinking of Carmen the next time a change comes my way.