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A Prayer Practice for Kids

Updated: Aug 10, 2020

In the last few months, many of our family rituals have fallen to the wrecking ball of this pandemic. We lost the structure of school and the routine of my partner going to work and coming home. I was without regular work for a couple of months. We began to attend, cautiously, some events outside of our home and then we stopped.


As we continue down this path of unrelenting unpredictability we have at times tried to impose new structures but they never seem to be able to outlast the constant shifting. And the sense of stability that they offer never seems strong enough for us to feel like we are standing on solid ground for any noticeable amount of time.


Lately, I have been trying to embrace the awfulness. I have been trying to just be where I am and to use that feeling of vulnerability to open up a space to try to understand what is real and true and what isn’t. I have been trying to pray more and to be more honest with myself and with God about the things that are really hard.


My twins, who are six, were already pretty good at being honest with themselves and with others. They still are, most of the time, their true selves. But they are beginning to be old enough to feel shame, to hide what they are feeling, and to try to forget their tears by watching a show or getting something sweet from the fridge.


All of the upheaval that these last few months have wrought has definitely had an impact on my kids. Even though they don’t have to be responsible adults, I know they also feel some sense of floating around, unmoored. And I have realized that even though I really want them to feel better, I don’t want them to decide that the way to do that is to hide their fear or anxiety.


I can’t fix the pandemic or climate change or racism. I can’t put a Band-Aid on it and make it all go away. But I can help them remember that we can always reach out to God.


So, even though it feels a bit hopeless,