Life’s lessons are plentiful and appear in different ways. Some lessons are more obvious than others. Right when you think you have everything figured out, God tells you otherwise and with that brings a sense of humility.
My husband and I learned a lesson about gratitude in the most beautiful and unexpected way.
Every night we tuck our daughter into bed, we say a prayer. We haven’t always done this. A matter of fact, bedtime was a big ordeal filled with tears, rocking and lots of sneaking out on our tippy toes.
We would pray to ourselves that we would get a full night of uninterrupted sleep.
All that has changed with our new bedtime routine.
Now, we tuck her into bed, sing a few songs, and say our prayer every night.
One night it was my prayer to recite, the other night was my husband’s.
Some prayers were really aliquot while others were short and dry.
Some prayers cracked us up while others were more serious and heartfelt.
My husband and I always pray, but never aloud. Perhaps we are shy in that aspect, but that has now changed. Our daughter constantly forces us to step outside our comfort zone, but in a good way.
My daughter who is two years old never prayed aloud until now. It’s been an experience that I never want to forget. I look forward to our nightly prayer session.
As a working mom, my days are filled with tasks, to-do lists, and routines. Some days I feel like a robot just counting down the hours until I can lay my own head down for the night. It’s exhausting at times.
However, when I hear my sweet daughter recite her prayer, my heart explodes and my life is whole again. She picks up on things I wouldn’t think twice about. Her toddler mind is filled with innocent and grateful thoughts during prayer time. (Not always the case during other moments such as dinner time and bath time).
I want to hold on to that slice of childhood innocence as long as I can.
In a soft spoken voice with a bashful grin, she closes her eyes and moves her hands to pray. Meanwhile, we have our eyes cracked open slightly to witness this adorable child that many minutes ago was screaming at us that she didn’t want to go to bed. It’s too sweet of a sight to miss.
A Toddler’s Prayer
With our ears open and the white sound in the background, she starts her prayer:
“Dear God,” she says.
Then continues to list the things she is thankful for:
“Her older brother”
“Dax” (our dog)
Then silence happens. I hear a sniffle.
It’s my husband.
What a softie.
What a great man.
Right when we are about to say, “Amen,” (because we think she is done) she continues,
“The Marching Band… and… The Trumpets!” She then starts playing the trumpet with her eyes closed shut.
I absolutely lose it, but not in laughter. What a random but ever-so-sweet thing to be thankful for.
Her brother plays in the marching band and it is something that we enjoy watching. She loves music, but most importantly she loves her brother. Granted he plays the clarinet, but trumpet is pretty darn close. I had no idea she was paying that much attention to her brother’s band performances, but she was.
Sometimes the simplest moments in life are the times that bring us the greatest joy.
I knew the power of prayer was strong, but never did I imagine a moment like this could bring (happy) tears to two grown people.
When we pause together as a family to reflect on each day, we open ourselves up to see the beauty of each other’s gratitude. It brings us back down to Earth.
I am thankful for moments like this as small as they may seem.
All the stress that the day brings, all the broken routines or the tasks that were left undone simply fade away because it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if I am kicking ass at routines or marking off my to-do list if I am not experiencing moments like this where I witness the love between siblings.
What matters is that we are trying our best to raise children that are grateful and providing ways for them to express gratitude.
What would our world be like if adults could do the same without being asked to do so? Sometimes it takes a holiday, tragedy, or trend for us to pause and express what we are truly thankful for. It’s human nature to get caught up and be thankful for what we have.
Sometimes it takes a two-year-old praying to remind a person that gratitude is important.
I take for granted a lot of things that I am thankful for but she reminded me to keep my eyes open for life’s simple pleasures.
What are a few simple things that you are thankful for? What unique ways can we show our loved ones, friends, and family that we are grateful for them?