In a recent post (My Prince Daddy) I wrote about the unique experience and warm feelings I get when putting my twin girls to bed. Well, after I’m finished putting them to bed, I get to go over to Christian’s room and settle him down.
The routine with him is very similar. We have already read books with the girls so we turn the lights off and sing a few songs together. With Christian the singing of songs MUST be accompanied by the rubbing of his back. After being enchanted by You are my Sunshine, Jesus Loves Me, and Amazing Grace (My chains are gone) we’re ready to pray before he needs to try to fall asleep.
We have been praying with Christian since before he could talk. And then once he was able to talk we invited him to join in and sometimes repeat a whole prayer after us. Around 2 ½ years old I had the “brilliant” idea of having him pray every night the words “please bless all the orphans.” I wanted to give him the opportunity to pray for other kids, so I explained what an orphan is and why we need to pray for them.
When we started adding this phrase to the end of our nightly prayers, we were living in Maryland and it was the beginning of baseball season in the Spring. Being a lifetime, hardcore Baltimore Orioles fan, I had been talking about them a lot recently. Then one night it happened. As I was finishing the prayer I said, “and please bless…” leaving a moment of silence so Christian could finish with, “all the orphans.” But on this night without a moment’s hesitation Christian stated, “all the orphans and all the orioles!” A bright smile rose to this daddy’s face.
For those of you who are already parents, you know the type of smile that crosses your face in that moment. Is it pure joy? Is it pure love for your child? I don’t know, but it’s a feeling I have only felt in the role of father. For Christian it was a very simple act, the words orphans and orioles start with the same sound. So I guess he thought we should ask God to bless both of them.
Did the Orioles make the playoffs last season for the first time in 15 years because we were praying for them every night? Maybe. Probably not. But that’s not the lesson I want to communicate to my son every night. I want to communicate the need to go to God in prayer. I want to communicate that we need to pray for those less fortunate than ourselves. I want to communicate that it’s ok to like sports and have things you’re passion about. And I greatly desire to communicate that his daddy is willing to kneel by his bed every night to sing to him, rub his back, and ask God to guide and bless our lives.
May we all take the time to intentionally communicate to our children what is truly important in this life.