Be careful what you say around children. They’re listening, they have excellent memories, and they like to imitate. Alex demonstrated that nicely yesterday.
This isn’t the kind of story you might be expecting, though. Alex didn’t repeat something naughty I said or ask a really embarrassing question in public.
Actually, it was a pleasant surprise. It still made me pause to think.
I’ve been trying to take a strong leadership role in making the Divine Office an integral part of my family’s days. After a rough day, I was particularly inspired to bring order to the chaos with prayer, so I began evening prayer. Unsurprisingly, the boys mostly ignored me and continued playing and fighting, so I did all of the responses myself.
When I finished the short scripture reading, though, I got a surprise. I said, “The Word of the Lord”, Alex looked up from his blocks, and he said, “Thanks be to God”.
I guess he was paying attention after all – both to me at that particular time, and at mass each Sunday. I wonder what else’s he’s been paying attention to that would surprise me. How much of it is good and appropriate?
I was blessed this time; he expressed the attentiveness to mass I’ve tried to instill.
Deo gratias. Thanks be to God.
Next time, though, he might echo something I’d be ashamed of. What an awesome responsibility raising children is. You don’t know what they’ve learned until they speak it or demonstrate it.