Apparently, we have a major communication problem in our house. It was time for dinner, and my 6-year-old was adamant that it was his turn to say prayers. He usually pulls his prayers from the depths of his little mind, thanking God for everything from his family and friends to his Transformers and Ninja Turtles, and eventually the meal. So, I was surprised when he decided to take a more formal route. After a hugely dramatic sign of the cross, he says, “Breast us, O Lord, for these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.”
Option 1: Point out his mistake to him, and be prepared for the hilarity/embarrassment that is sure to ensue (hilarious for others; embarrassing for me). He will giggle, and purposely say it 1,000 times more, always conveniently “forgetting” that he’s gotten the prayer wrong.
Option 2: Don’t say anything and hope he figures it out on his own. But, if he doesn’t figure out his mistake, people will wonder what exactly we pray for in our home. (Is there a patron saint for strippers?)
I went with a combination of the two. I didn’t point out his mistakes to him but instead insisted on saying the mealtime prayer for the next few nights. I sounded equally ridiculous: “BUH-LESS us, O Lord…” Never has there been such an emphasis of exaggeration. He eventually got it.
This is not the first time The Younger Boy and I have had problems with prayers. When he was 4, I taught him how to pray the rosary. I speak quickly, and often my words run together. (I get it from my Cajun grandmother; what normal people discuss in hours, we run through in minutes.) So, his confusion is quite understandable. In the middle of a “Hail Mary,” he says,
“Mom, why are we praying for a monk?”
“What do you mean?”
“You keep praying for a monk. Why is he swimming?”
Now I’m totally baffled. “Sweetie, what are you talking about?!?”
“Hail Mary! Full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed are thou a monk swimmin’, and Blessed is the fruit…”
Oooohhhh, epiphany! Amongst women = a monk swimmin’. I could just imagine what was going through his mind. Was Mary at a pool party? Is there a drowning monk epidemic? And, if monks swim, what do nuns do?
Oh, well. Lessons are learned every day; I really need to learn to enunciate. BUH-LESS you all, and have a great day!