This cute little milestone for Lily is a few weeks old, but I didn’t get around to blogging about it until now.
Every evening before we eat dinner, Amanda and I lead Alex and Joel in saying grace. One evening a while back I noticed that Lily (about 9mo at the time) was staring at us and had clapped her hands together. At first I wasn’t sure if it deliberate or just a coincidence. Well, it happens just about every time we eat together now, so it’s definitely deliberate. Whenever we start grace, she watches intently and usually drops whatever she’s eating or drinking to put her hands together (though she sometimes ends up clapping them or swinging them around like she’s practicing a Captain Kirk double-fist thump).
I think that’s pretty cool, and as a Catholic it makes me proud as well. Anyone else have a story like that they’d like to share.
I’ve read (and continue to read) a lot about developmental milestones, discipline, and child psychology in general. Just about every book I’ve read (and several articles) have mentioned the need for quiet time before bed. Heck, adults need it, too! It’s especially important for kids, though, and the sanity of their parents, because it can make the difference between a peaceful or protested bedtime routine.
As a devout Catholic, I’m also interested in raising my kids according the the Faith. So, tonight I tried something that I hope becomes part of our daily routine. I read evening prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours to Alex (Joel was getting a bath.). He mostly didn’t pay attention, but he either sat or played quietly next to me on the couch. He did take interest in my singing, though. I sang however many verses of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” were printed (6, I think) for the opening hymn.
I figured the start of a new liturgical year was a good time to start something like this. Call it a new year resolution.
P.S. For those who don’t know, I’ve tried and failed to get into the regular habit of praying the Liturgy of the Hours more times than most smokers have tried to quit.
We’re starting to see some fruits from the seeds of faith we’ve sown in our children. Both have been going to mass with us every week. Heck, Alex went at six days old and Joel went at two days old! We say grace before meals and a prayer before saying goodnight.
Alex has been able to say most of the bedtime prayer for quite some time now (I thought I’d blogged about it, but I can’t find the post, so maybe it was just a tweet. Hmm…). He recently started to demand grace as soon as an adult sits down at the table (Also something I only tweeted. This is not a good trend.). Most recently, he’s begun to actively participate in mass instead of just being there. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve appreciate how well he generally behaves during mass. However, until recently he didn’t seem to be paying much attention.
Last week, though, he knelt during the consecration of the Eucharist – without any prompting whatsoever! He did again this week, though not for as long (He is a toddler, after all.). We’re not perfect parents, and God knows we could pray for and with each other more often, but we must be doing something right. I just hope we can keep it up.
Alex is a very bright, precocious, and willful child. I just can’t shake the feeling that he’s destined for either great good or great evil, and it’s our grave responsibility to make sure it’s the former. I say that with tongue partially in cheek, but not entirely. Parenting is serious business. It’s our job to make sure our kids are set on a path to salvation and have the faith and fortitude to stay on it when they’re responsible for their own lives.