It was a terribly awful Sunday and I cried on and off all afternoon and into the evening when Jeffrey asked me if I would come up early to tuck him in so we could snuggle for a while.
You never snuggle with me anymore.
So I put aside the hurt I felt and climbed the stairs to enter into soft boy-skin and a tangle of legs and arms. We snuggled.
Do you want to say the prayer tonight?
I asked it because I hoped he did, because thinking about God made me cry again, and my heart felt tender still from the fresh wounding.
Okay, he said. And he did. And this is how he started:
Dear God, he said. Thank you for all the blessings and even for the bad things because we know they’re here for a reason. Thank you for today…umm…we all had a pretty good day of it. (Really?) Yeah, pretty good.
And he went on, asking for blessings, giving thanks, praying from his heart. I was silenced by his beginning, but it gave me hope so I asked,
What do you want more than anything in the world?
He didn’t even hesitate.
I looked at his white face shine in the dark.
Are you just saying that because you know I want you to?
No. Then he reached both his hands to the ceiling as if he could reach heaven. Because, without God, what are we?
He silences me again with his words, but I’m still skeptical.
Okay then, what would be second?
No hesitation, God.
He giggles again.
Then he stops and see the wheels turning.
Well, he said. After God there is something else.
What is it?
So I gulp it in big mouthfuls and discover that I am still breathing and I look at this wonder-boy and kiss him goodnight and when I go to bed I say a prayer of my own.
Dear God, Thank you for all the bad stuff. I want you—I need you like air. Amen.