I’m always on a quest to understand my own spiritual life more fully. Lately, I’ve been trying to understand my kids’ spiritual lives, too.
This came up in a big way last Wednesday, as I drove my preschooler to meet Grandma, who was going to watch him for the day. As we sat in the inevitable line of cars snaking off of the freeway, I looked at him in the rearview mirror. He seemed in a reflective mood, and we weren’t going anywhere in a hurry, so I suddenly had the idea to engage him in a conversation about prayer.
“Sweetie, do you ever pray?” I asked. “Do you ever just talk to God?”
“Yes,” he said.
“Do you ever say, Thank you, God, for the good things in life?”
English teacher that I am, I felt a specific illustration might enhance the discussion. “You know how we pray before dinner, and we thank God for the food, or the fun weekend, or our family ?”
“Well, you can do that any time of day.” Warming to the theme, I looked at the green hillside next to the highway, which was full of yellow wildflowers in bloom. “For example, I can say, Thank you, God, for the green grass and the yellow flowers, for all the things I love. I can do that anytime I want,” I told him.
“I just farted,” he said.
And so it goes.
But you know what? I’m going to take my own advice here. Thank you, God, for the gift of this irrepressible, sweet, hilarious little boy.
And if he ever becomes a priest, I’ll make sure this post goes viral.