Our son has his rituals. They are evident in his play, meal time, conversations, interactions, habits, school routine, on the soccer field. There are things that he does, that in his mind if he doesn’t do them, everything will be wrong. He thrives on structure and order.
This morning, he didn’t want to go to school. He tells me this every Monday. Transitioning from the weekend is hard for him. Instead of getting anxious myself as I notice the time on the clock, I take a deep breath. As he gets big and mad and sad all at once telling me, I don’t want to go to school, I give him a choice.
Honey, we can run to school right now and make it on time or we can walk slowly and be late.
He grabs my hand and we walk slowly. I don’t freak out about him being late and he calms down. This was our prayer this morning. Walking hand in hand, breathing in each other’s silence we made it just two minutes after the bell and all is well. No one got in trouble. We breathed in the peace we both needed. How much more can a prayer be if it isn’t that? I didn’t ask God to help me. I didn’t ask God to help my son. I held out my hand, I took a breath, believing God, the Universe, the Holy Spirit, Divine Mystery would help us. I had faith the details would be handled. No words. Just surrendered to the moment with a breath.
Mama, he said before I said good bye at school. I looked down and saw him open the palm of my hand and I felt his kiss touch my skin, like I do every morning. Then he held out his hand for me to do the same. I kissed his palm and he placed his hand on his cheek.
How many hours, mama?
Six. I will see you in six hours. Just like I tell him five days a week.
One more kiss more than his ritual calls for, an extra hug beyond the routine, a couple minutes later than usual, but with new awareness from my heart that a breath made the transition easier. And some hand holding was all the prayer the morning needed.
by J.G. McGlothern
For more thoughts on prayer, read my blog from Friday http://www.mamaneedsarefill.com/2012/09/fridays-free-refill-prayer/