My nose, her cheeks . . !

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TODAY, they’re five years old! And I reproduce what I wrote of them when they surfaced on earth: There’s two young men, twins, who’ve come into my life, and as I hold either one or the other of my daughter’s newborns in my hands, I hear voices, “He’s got your nose Bob!” or “He’s got his daughter’s cheeks!” There are some who swear they look exactly like their father, and others sigh and whisper, “Aren’t they so cute!”

In fact, I must admit I joined the vanity brigade when I suddenly left the room, stood in front of a bathroom mirror and came back and announced to my wife and all in the room, “I think one of them has my smile!” Never mind that nobody gushed or exclaimed, “Yes Bob, you’re right!” It’s just that as I held them this morning, helping in their feed, I suddenly understood, and told the two, “What’s inside dear boys is what matters!”

I’m not sure they understood, poor mites, hearing me growl such truths to them, but someday I’m going to tell them this, you guys, you might have the smoothest smile, the cutest chin, the most fancied face, but it doesn’t matter, it’s the inside, that counts! And maybe they’ll turn to me puzzled and ask, “But how would anybody see what’s inside grandpa?”

“By the way it comes outside!” I’ll tell them. ‘Your calm inside can bring peace to those around you. Your sense of justice in your heart will make your friends know how fair you are. Your strong feelings of love will make you loyal to those you’re close to. It’s the inside my little fellows that matters.’

I walk to the mirror again, and stare at it, but this time I don’t look to see whether the smile is the same as that of the two little chaps. I stare at the mirror and wonder what those around me see, and suddenly I’m not too happy with the man in the mirror. I walk back to the two little fellows who look back at me. “I pray,” I tell them, “That you face challenges as you grow up, and as you face and surmount each obstacle, determination and resolve will form your features!”

“I pray,” I tell them, “That you will learn to taste both defeat and victory, and that in defeat you will learn to bounce back and fight again, in victory, you’ll both learn to be gracious to those you have won over!” I look at them and continue, “And may your jaw and cheekbone show proudly those episodes of winning and losing, and that your mouths smile in the face of adversity!”

I hear voices, I hear them say, “He’s got Bob’s cheeks!” “No, it’s his father’s chin!” I smile and turn my face to the One above and whisper, “Build them oh Lord, that what’s inside will be beautiful to you..!” Today on their fifth birthday, I realize He’s doing just that..!