He goes in to look at them. Every night before we shut the door to our bedroom and declare the day done, he goes to see the sleeping boys. Too often I play the part of the tired mother. I have been with them all day. I do not feel the need to watch again, especially now that they are finally peaceful, finally quiet. Sleep is sacred, besides. Some days I am counting the minutes until this moment. When the house is hushed and I can hear myself think. So I am not naturally drawn to join him. Most nights I let him go alone as I turn down the hallway to our room. I crave the calm and rest that beckons beyond the bedroom door. Sleep is calling my name. But once in a while I join him. I do not know why I decide differently, but I do. I turn from my well-worn ways and set down the laundry basket or the laptop or the pile of books I have lugged upstairs. I follow him silently into their room. . . . Everything looks grainy in the dimmed dark. I hover over each bed, holding my … [Read more...] about see what you have done. know that it is good.
Most nights, my bedtime prayer with our two oldest boys begins like this: Be still and know that I am God. I can't remember if it started when our litany of God-blesses maxed out into a mile-long list of everyone my kids knew: every teacher at their schools, every former babysitter, every relative they've never met, all the poor people and sick people and sad people and homeless people and all the children in the world. Or if it started when we needed something fresh after all the recitations of prayers they know by heart: Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be. Or if it started one late night when I was so tired that I simply needed to hear the words myself. Be still and know that I am. But no matter how we started, “let’s do meditation” has become the nightly plea for their bedtime routine. Who can resist that request, even at the end of an exhausting day? So meditate we do. Be still and know. Meditation … [Read more...] about meditation, preschool-style
Have you ever noticed that young children's timing is absolutely perfect - for them and only them? Case in point: they only want to put on their own shoes/coat/mittens when we're already running 10 minutes late. See also: they realize they are, in fact, capable of recognizing their own need for the potty when we're in the middle of driving/dinner/Target/bedtime/church. Otherwise known as: their internal clocks continue to rouse them right on time, regardless of what daylight savings says. This phenomenon takes on particular irony for those of us with theological training when it comes to prayer. Case in point: my toddler now makes a pitiful plea for his bedtime prayer routine to PLEASE be repeated at naptime (when I used to get away with only a quick story-and-song before skipping out the door for blessed quiet to myself). See also: the mornings we're rushing to get out the door to school are the ONLY days that my boys ever insist on saying grace, rather than having me … [Read more...] about the sweet aggravation of teaching kids to pray