Thursday, March 7, 2013

The internal 3 year old

I try to have quiet prayer time early in the morning - after my husband goes to work and before anyone else wakes. Most days my little guy wakes up around 6:24 am; the kid has one accurate internal clock. Somedays I'm really lucky and he sleeps until 7:00 am.

Usually when he wakes up he comes and says good morning to me and I walk him back to his room, "It's too early to be up and running around. Nanny and Papa are still sleeping." I also have to add "and don't come out of your room until I come get you." Some mornings he's great and plays in his room, other mornings he's a nut running in and out of his room, calling for me, and my prayer time consists of short bursts of "God help me."

For whatever reason, the other day I told him he could stay with me during my quiet prayer. "You can either lay on the couch quietly or you can sit in my lap." He chose to lay on the couch. After 5 minutes of endless shifting and talking to me, I picked him up and sat him in my lap.

He relaxed as soon as I set him in my lap and snuggled into me. "It's time to be very quiet and still. Mommy's going to pray and you can say your prayers to Jesus." I closed my eyes and listened to him as he whispered his prayers. It was very sweet and I thought, I'm not doing too bad at this Mommy thing.

Then...a small whisper..."Excuse me, Mommy." I decided to keep my eyes closed and try to focus. A small hand reached up and stroked my face accompanied by an emphatic whisper, "Excuse me, Mommy."

I opened my eyes, "Yes, what is it?"

This apparently was an invitation to a waterfall of questions and observations and squirminess. And then it dawned on me...I joke around about having a hamster wheel for a brain, but really, when I pray I'm more like a 3 year old sitting in the lap of the Lord. Constantly chattering, pointing out bright shiny things, asking questions, squirming, daydreaming, all the while trying to be still and present. I couldn't get upset with him because I was too busy laughing at myself.

Finally, the 3 year old in my lap settled down and the 3 year old in my head quieted down. We got 2 solid minutes of stillness and it was a lovely way to start the day.