Celebrating life through the eyes of a three year-old.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Teens, Three year-olds, and Prayer

You have heard it before in a previous post: "Hebby Fadder."

Yes, this is another prayer story. Only this one began with a late night and an unhappy 17 year-old.

She was upset because the Seniors had to be present on a practice TAKS test day. For those of you that don't know TAKS, it is a multiple day series of tests given in Texas from 1st grade through 11th. The results are used to rank the quality of education in schools and their districts. If approved, the school is given a waiver by the state so seniors, at least those that have passed the TAKS (also a graduation requirement), do not have to attend the school-wide, almost whole day testing day.

"Everything changes for my grade!" she complained.

Her 14 year-old sister and I giggled. We should have known better. At least, we should have giggled in the other room, because then we got the full brunt of her frustration. You would think at 40, I could realize the consequences of my actions.

Anyway, it was then time for family prayer before Fred went to bed. The routine again is to help him say his prayer by having him repeat my words.

"Hebby Fadder" (Heavenly Father)

"Thank you for my..." At this point, the word day was turned into a five note melody.

I thought maybe it was just a fluke, but no... each sentence was completely turned into another original musical sentence. Before we all started to giggle after the third or fourth composition, I had him finish. I opened my eyes and we all fell over on the bed, including the once upset teen, gave each other lasting hugs, and went to bed.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Illuminating Idealogy

Government tries to keep peace. Others try to disrupt the peace for the sake of their cause, not reflecting on the disruption of human life.

We keep trying to make better, faster, more efficient "things." Phones get smaller. We can communicate with anyone in the world for the sacrifice of a few minutes of our phone plans.

Some changes take years. Iraq. Lebanon. Israel. Russia. Homes, suburbia, encroaching on rural life.

Some changes cost money, time, heart, and the breath of a tiny newborn.

Changes come physically and emotionally.

The desire of all our choices are to create. We create peace, disruptions, laughter, sadness.

All of us forget that our lives must end. Not CAN end, but WILL end. What will be left behind is the result of big and small choices.

Early in the morning, illuminated by dawn through my bedroom window, I sat and admired the the soft curves of light on my infant sons chubby arms, legs, and feet while he was cradled in my arms, sleeping. Admiration turned to pondering:

What if every choice we made was preceded by the touch of an infant, or a glimpse of a babies smile? What if every leader in business and government had to play with the three-year olds at the neighborhood pre-school for a few hours each day before making long-term and big decisions?

Isn't it great that God knows how the calming softness of a baby and the incredible, infectious joy of a child's laughter can affect us. Let's make sure each choice will repay God's kindness.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

How To Encourage Peace

My husband and teenage daughter called me from the store to tell me that they had found the perfect toy for my three-year old.

Let me explain something first. This three-year old is the boy that has not watched anything but Dora the Explorer, Blues Clues, Barney and Bob the Builder on television. Our cable connected television is in a loft above the living room, accessible by only a steep ladder.

We tried watching Zathura with him, which he loved, but forever after has added the phrase "the robots goin' to get me" to his late night fears.

Recently, he has started holding doors open for me as I carry the baby to the car.

At night, he asks me to lie down beside him and "keep me sabe (safe)."

Birthday time came. He got a new bike, a train set, and the gift that my husband and daughter bought--an army set with play guns and grenades.

I didn't say a word, good or bad. He just looked at those guns and grenades and moved on to the other toys. My daughter and husband really tried to teach him to play with them. I really tried to be neutral. I did tell him, however, to never "pow pow" his mommy or the baby.

Of course, I never did play the gun game. I just was not ready to explain the concept of war and bloodshed to my little boy. He will know soon enough.

I think kids are pretty perceptive and influenced by what their moms don't say. Several months later, those guns are now in the garage, having been dumped on the floor too many times in search of other toys and left.

He also started a new daycare this Fall. He has been going there several weeks now and, as he was falling asleep tonight, confessed with a smile: "I like to play pow pow."

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Happy Prayer

"Hebby Fadder"

That is the opening line of each assisted prayer given by my 3 year old each night to his Heavenly Father.

"Thank you for my day."

That line is usually, but not always, next.

"Please help me be happy."

That was placed there by me, his mom, intentionally because he was very tired from his day. He had been crying because the day was at an end. He wasn't too tired, though. He interrupted the prayer with:

"I not want to be happy!"

"Okay," I said and quickly helped him finish the prayer and lie down on the bed.

"I not want to be happy!" he said laying on his pillow.

"Okay, you can be unhappy."

"I not want to be unhappy...I just want to be Freddy!"