Sunday, June 5, 2011

Amazing Grace

"As parents, we guide by our unspoken example.  It is only when we're talking to them that our kids aren't listening." ~Robert Brault

We're not overly religious. We skip church more often than I'd like to admit. But we still go more often than we don't.

We feel it's important to instill a sense of faith in our daughter. One way we do it: every night before dinner we hold hands and say grace. My family did this when I was growing up. It's a tradition I hold very dear, and one that brings back fond memories.

Many nights, my daughter will ask if she can say it herself, alone. She's proud that she knows it by heart. That's a blessing if you ask me.

On Friday night she and I ate dinner without my wife, who had a work function to attend in the city. So I allowed us to eat in the living room and watch television during dinner.

Now usually she reminds us to turn off the television before dinner, or about the "no phones or blackberries at the table" rule. 
Her TV dinner (I kinda mailed it in) on Friday
Tonight, though, she reminded me that we forgot to say grace.

I love this.

So we sat there... I on the couch, she in her little chair pulled up to the ottoman that turns into a mini-coffee table... and we held hands and said grace.

And then.. the kicker: She now also does the sign of the cross after grace. Without being told. I never even actively taught her this. She simply does it because I do it. I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school. She was baptized in a Catholic church, but we've joined an Episcopal church in our town because we feel more comfortable there. It isn't customary for Episcopalians to make the sign of the cross. During service, it's usually just the "recovering" Catholics like myself who do it.

Now she does it too... and makes it a point to show me.

One of many reminders that she's watching, paying attention. Learning. From me.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great reminder that our kids learn from who we are more than what we say. And while I am no longer specifically Christian, rites (symbolic gestures) and traditions hold a special place in my heart, especially those that demonstrate gratitude and reverence.

    Sometimes I sit back and wonder how the hell anyone gave me the incredible responsibility of shaping people's lives. Reading about the little things and the thoughts of other dads helps keep me on track. Thanks.

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