By the time I’ve slaved over a pot of burnt rice and battled the side leg tackles of my toddler, I’m ready to chow down on the (unburned, new batch of) rice and curry stir fry cooked by loving Husband. Throw plates on the table, sweep dead flower petals to the side, plonk down a beer and call it a meal.
Fortunately we’ve already instilled in our daughter a deeply ingrained love of prayer, otherwise we’d be eating like heathens in front of an episode of Lost without any form of pomp or circumstance…which is exactly how we used to do things. What I thought would be a nice family routine of saying a quick prayer before dinner has turned into a breakfast-lunch-snack-and-dinner affair, complete with thanking God for the food and pretty much every single person we know on this earth. Oh, and the animals too. Our grace goes something like this:
Parent (either Husband or me): Dear God, thank you for this food.
Z: Pop Pop.
Parent: And Pop Pop.
Parent: And Melanie.
Parent: And Harrison.
Parent: And Grandma.
And so on, until we finish thanking God for the grandparents, the cat, the dogs next door, Mama, Daddy, and finally, Z herself. Then sometimes we loop back to the cat.
The same thing happens at nighttime prayers. Then yesterday as I put her down in her crib for naptime and her eyes were drooping, she popped her little head up and said, “Gace!” [translation: Grace].
This is hard to admit in front of the Public and God and Everyone Else (including my mother), but I pretended not to know what she was talking about.
It sounds bad, I know. But her little eyes were practically shut, and she would have been wide awake by the end of a recital of the contents of my address book (and don’t forget the animals). Plus I work so hard to get her to sleep sometimes; if she’s already there on her own, I don’t want to mess with that. Sometimes I’ll go to extreme and superstitious lengths to preserve what I have come to think of as our Routine.
So I said a quick prayer for her, because I believe you can just say, “Hey God, thanks for my beautiful kid,” whenever you feel like it.