Today while “reading” one of her books, Zoe came across a little boy praying before bed and she clasped her hands together to imitate. I was making breakfast and spied her little gesture from the corner of my eye. She must have felt my eyes on her because she looked up at me almost instantly and I met her gaze with the biggest smile. “Yes,” I said. “That little boy is praying before bedtime just like how we pray before we eat.”
Phil and I have been making a very concerted effort to instill some important values and habits in Zoe. But to be honest, when she runs off mid-sentence with arms stretched behind her like a superhero, I rarely believe she’s actually listening; that is until the day she totally surprises me!
It might seem silly that of all the things that my little Zo-zo does to imitate me or Papa Nevels, from bathing her baby doll in her kitchen sink, to remembering to place her sippy cup on the side table or even her attempts to harness PJ and walk him around the house, I’m most proud of the fact that before dinner she clasps her little hands together, bows her head and whispers gibberish. My little Zoe is learning to pray! Now granted, she might not know who to pray to or exactly what to say, I’m just excited that she’s going through the motions.
Religion is always a touchy subject. With having to be PC (politically correct) so as not to offend the next believer or non-believer, it’s easy to feel stifled. But as a Mother, I’m a witness to the miracles of life. If ever I doubted the wonders of God, I need only to look at Zoe and Jada. And if ever I doubted the need for God to be at the core of my life, I need only to look at the nightly News Broadcast. He is my source of stability, strength and peace.
I sometimes take it for granted that both Phil and I share the same values, but it is this common denominator that allows us to stand as a unit and give our girls the foundation that they’ll cling to during challenging times.
So now-a-days as the Nevels Clan gathers around the dinner table to break bread, (and chicken and veggies and rice too) we bring our hands together, bow our heads and say our prayers. And if I listen really closely, off to the left I can hear the faint sounds of “Shhbhsh Shhbahshhsh shhs bshshsh” and I think to myself, “Well done PhilAmina…you’re off to a good start!”
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