Monday, January 12, 2009

granted reprieve

Yesterday evening I was tucking my little boy into bed and praying with him. For years he has said the beginning of his bedtime prayers as, "Jesus, Jesus day. Bless Momma, bless Daddy... etc... etc. Amen."

It may sound weird but that is how he prays and always has. He has prayed this way since he could talk. Since the day that he could lisp out the name Jesus, this is how my son started his prayers. I do know generally how this happened. You see when he was young I started off many a bed time prayer with, "Dear Jesus, Thank you for today."

He merely smooshed it so it was easy for his little mouth to say. He is now seven. Yes, seven years old and still saying, "Jesus, Jesus, day." Most of the time I do not even notice it. It has simply become part of praying with the Boy.

My problem is that yesterday evening that whole thought went up in smoke when he started by saying, "Jesus, Jesus, day..." and then he stopped. He paused and then said, "Dear God..." and he finished his prayer. When that happened I squeezed my eyes shut tight in shock and surprise. I know that my seven, almost eight year old, should not still be saying, "Jesus, Jesus Day..." BUT it is such a part of him. Such a part of his littleness. Such a part of the baby I used to snuggle and scoop up with such ease. It is such a part of so very many memories of us praying together, night, after night after night.

Nights when it took patience for me to even pray with him. Nights when I would pour out my heart to God in prayers that left me in tears. Nights when I would pray for help in leading this boy in the correct way and many nights spent praying with him for Daddy to be safe in Iraq. I have spent nights praying for sweet bunnies who have died and nights spent praying for aunts and uncles in China and then years later the same aunt in a hospital just hours away. I have spent nights hearing his sweet prayers open with, "Jesus, Jesus day... " and have heard him continue on to pray for young friends suffering with leukemia, and to hear him thank God for the trees and the flowers and the bushes and the bugs. All the innocent childhood prayers for years and years were encompassed with that opening phrase.

My momma heart felt slightly torn as I knew that he was realizing that his opening for prayer wasn't "right." That there was a better way. A more acceptable way... in his young mind.

It was hard for me that night to give him a soft kiss on his still soft cheek and to just walk away from his bed. There was actually a part of me that wanted to curl right up there with him and beg him to stop growing up. That would be a weird parenting tactic, but I can't deny that the urge was there.

I felt wistful looking back in on him later that night. I made sure he was covered up well and all was well in his room and kissed his cheek again knowing that, "Jesus, Jesus day..." would probably not be heard again.

Tonight, I prayed with him and I talked with him and in the process he actually licked me right across the nose, which was disgusting and wet and just plain gross and was so very little boy like. Then we prayed and he opened the prayer with, "Jesus, Jesus day..." and never paused and never seemed to think about it twice.

I however did pause and I did think twice and I did hug him close and know that I was granted a reprieve. It will not be long I am sure but I will treasure every time I hear, "Jesus, Jesus day..."


applesofgold said...

This post has me crying my own little ones have their own little ways of doing things and I am watching them drop them one by one, as they grow older. *sniffle*

Kristen said...

That is so sweet and sad, and I can understand. I often wonder when Joel will stop saying "Dear Jesus for this day, have a wonderful day tomorrow..." I have lamented the loss of "cantaloop" and "suit clothes (swim suit) and others. Watching the growing is such a bittersweet thing.

Scooter said...

ahh, the "lasts". We moms document the "firsts" of everything with our babies, from teeth to steps to days of school. We never anticipate the "lasts", and miss them all the more ... the last time they sit on your lap, the last time they hold your hand in public, the last time they say they love you in front of their friends. The lasts hit us between the eyes and knock us sideways.

From one mom who's babies are way too big, to another who's babies are growing too fast ... peace and blessings. Old Simeon knew what he was talking about with the sword piercing the heart of a mother thing ...

Tricia said...

Absolutely precious Anna...

Susan said...

Thanks, Anna.

Julie said...

My husband and I have decided it is all a dirty trick. They just keep growing and changing and as wonderful as it is, I miss the baby time sometimes. *sigh* So much sweetness.

FHL said...

I think it's their birthdays quickly approaching! I'm turning into an emotional nutcase! There's something about a child turning 8....7 is still little boy. 8 is simply not :o( But I'm glad you got your Jesus day back for at least a little while longer!

BTW, that Prince Caspian quote gave me chills!


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