Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep ...

Jude took the initiative on bedtime prayers tonight, something that happens only rarely. It's nice to see, and refreshing to only give prompts here and there.

Many parents will teach their children some kind of "scripted" prayer, often in the form of a verse or a poem, for their nighttime ritual. I remember praying the same formulaic prayer until well past ten; though it was not rhyming, it may as well have been for how well I had it memorized.

Our goal with bedtime prayers is two-fold: to help our children see God as a loving Father, from whom all things come, and to whom we can go whenever we need it (and any time we don't think we do, either.) We have never taught them the traditional bedtime verse that this post draws its title from, but we find that our prayer does follow a sort of set "pattern." (Jude often gets his bedtime prayers mixed up with the mealtime prayers--which is okay, but humourous.)

"Bless our bodies, bless our food," he began.

"Are we eating right now, Jude?" I said while pulling the covers up to Noah's chin, while he cuddled (!) the two trucks he had brought to bed with him.

"Nooo!" he said, in that 'silly me!' voice. "Help us grow up to be wise men..." He paused. I gave a prompt.

"Thank you for..." This part of the prayer usually comes up with different responses every night, but usually along the same two themes: family members, or things we got to do that day.

"Thank you for Mommy, and Daddy, and Noah and Jabin and me, and--" then he went into a rather loooong and detailed list of all his friends. We had a short discussion about the family he didn't see in church this morning among them, and then I turned to Noah.

"What are you thankful for, Noah?" wanting him to learn to participate, too, and expecting an answer along a similar bent.

Through his still-slurred language, I deciphered his response.

"Dora. Boots. Backpack." And that was the end of his list.

I feel so special.