race, my beautiful niece and goddaughter, turned five today. I sent her a card, and tried to speak to her on the phone, but my nieces are most odd in utterly refusing to have anything to do with the telephone without excessive coaching from their mother. Apparently Grace listened to me for a moment, then simply started walking off back to her visiting playmate with the phone held disinterestedly at her waist. I suspect someday that this phone-attitude will change, but that day is not today. Anyway, it doesn't stop me from loving her immensely, and from having done my godfatherly duty. I'll see her in two weeks at the dual birthday party for her and Haley, whose birthday is at the end of the month. But still... five years
, already?!! I can still remember biking home from a day of teaching at Saint Joe's, caught in a sudden warm summer downpour, and singing with abandon the chorus of a song I'd recently written about grace:
And the rain came pouring down,
Pouring down on you...
only to find out later that she had been born in exactly those moments. Like her mother actually naming her for the theological reality we call grace – God's loving acts on our behalf in the very Gift of God's own Spirit and Self – so many moments of her life were already signs of grace in our family.