The Talk

Sometimes, giving R her bath and putting her to bed can feel like such a chore. She hates having her hair washed, won’t get in the tub, won’t get out of the tub, wants to be read to but turns the pages faster than you can read them, won’t get in bed, won’t let you leave quietly… it can all be exhausting.

But I try to find little moments of pleasure in the hour+ the bedtime ritual takes: Singing silly songs in the bath, her clean smell, her enthusiastic application of lotion to her arms and legs, the snuggles, the bedtime kisses.

Last night, she was perusing the bookshelf in her room when she realized LO! There is an entire top shelf to this thing, full of big, thick books with no pictures (Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables and Mary Poppins series and other books from my youth). She reached for the tiniest book on the shelf – a kid-size directory to Catholic saints related in some way to children. I got the book as a gift for my first communion, and I know that because I wrote my name and the date inside the front cover.

As I read different “saint profiles,” she became more and more interested in what I was talking about. Even when I thought she was asleep, she’d perk up at a name (Ursula! Sea witch from the Little Mermaid! Or Joseph! Jesus’ Daddy!).

When I paused to turn a page, she looked up at me and asked, “Mommy, Where’s God?”

Wow. I was pretty quick on my feet and answered that a little bit of God was in each one of us – in R, in Mommy, in Daddy.

“Mommy, I’m God!”

Not exactly the response I was hoping for, but I worked with it, telling her again God was in everybody: her friends, her teachers at school, Uncle Kris and Aunt Lisa and Baby I, her grandparents.

“What God look like?”

I told her everyone had their own idea of what God looks like, we could all imagine him any way we wanted. R decided God looks like a butterfly. Sensing an opportunity, I asked her if she wanted to say her bedtime prayers. So we went through the classic bedtime prayer a couple of times, and by the third time, she was repeating some of it with me.

Raising this child may sometimes make me want to scream, yell and throw things. But sometimes, she shows me what grace really is.

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8 Responses to The Talk

  1. Christina says:

    I dont want to act like I know what will help here but my thought is what if you take the bath out of the bedtime routine? What if its before dinner? I wonder if you switch it up a tad it may help? She knows its getting close to bed, is she intentionaly taking her time? My nephew does the just one more book deal, my sister got him some kids books on cd- she reads him two tucks him in and hits play. He falls asleep while listening. I of course, know nothing, my kid is 8 months old and falls asleep on the boob.

  2. Mar says:

    What a lovely little image.

  3. She is God. And how delightful that she knows it! I hope she never loses that feeling of the God within. ((hug)) Well done!!

  4. Frema says:

    What a great way to talk about God with your kids. Simple, but true, in a way they can understand. Kudos!

  5. Victoria says:

    You have the most precious little girl. I hope you always treasure that moment!

  6. Colleen says:

    I’m working on the night-time prayer thing too, but I don’t like the one about “if I die before I wake”! What a terrible kid’s prayer. Right now, we are just stuck on “thank you God for….” and then naming everyone/everything under the sun. That’s his new stall tactic. I gotta come up with something better. Do you have a good night-time one?

  7. Vixen says:

    That is grace. How blessed you are.

  8. Mandy says:

    Oh, is that sweet. And so relatable. 🙂
    It is those moments that keep me going.

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