My father is an atheist, but when I was little he supervised my prayers. I have to admit that when I was 14 and discovered he was an atheist, I was rather stunned. I mean, this was the guy who taught me, "Now I lay me down to sleep . . . "
Anyway . . . here I am all grown up (sort of), and I have taught each of my four children bedtime prayers. I want them to end the day secure in LOVE.
So Demon Baby has been taught to fold his hands, close his eyes, and say, "Dear God, thank you for this day . . . "
After that, it's a free-for-all. I just didn't see the point in teaching him rote prayers. I'd rather it be a conversation.
Tonight, though . . .
"Okay, time for prayers," I said. "Dear God . . . thank you for this day, please watch over my family . . ."
"HOLD ON!" he screamed.
"I have to talk."
"All right then, you say prayers your way."
"Dear God . . . please bring me candy."
"That's all I got. That's all I got."
After trying not to fall out of bed laughing, I said, "God isn't like a wish list. You don't really ask him to bring you candy."
"So can I talk to a wishing star for my wishes?"
He's four. A star was visible through his bedroom window. What was I to say?
"Of course, you can wish to a wishing star."
"Dear wishing star . . . Please bring me candy. And please make me a superhero."
"Superheroes are cool."
"I don't know if a wishing star can MAKE you a superhero. But you know . . . you are a super kid. And I thank God and wishing stars for you every day."
"Good night, Mama."
"Don't let the bugbeds bite." [Yeah. I know. But he always says it backwards. But I think wishing stars and God understand him just fine.]