I’m posting this because I want to clear out clutter, which the scrap of paper on which this prayer for children is printed has become, yet I want to remember these words, these thoughts from Marian Wright Edelman, who included it in her book of prayers and meditations on (raising) children, Guide My Feet.
I copied this out of her book well over a decade ago, when my boys were quite young. Or perhaps it was back when I only had one boy. I think my intent was to read it each week on Shabbat, when we lit the Friday night candles.
Many of our traditions and habits fell aside during the years we lived with my parents and our Friday night candle lighting was one of them. We are getting back into the habit, though.
Dear God, I thank You for the gift of this child to raise, this life to share, this mind to help mold, this body to nurture and this spirit to enrich.
Let me never betray this child’s trust, dampen this child’s hope, or discourage this child’s dreams.
Help me dear God to help this precious child become all You mean him to be.
Let Your grace and love fall on him like gentle breezes and give him inner strength and peace and patience for the journey ahead.
Upon further reflection, I’ve decided that this wrinkled scrap of paper held together with tape isn’t clutter after all. Its message is timeless, and as the mother of a teen and tween who have learned well how to push my patience to its limit, I should read and reflect on these words at least once a week.
I’m sticking it up on the side of the fridge, just as it was posted in our previous house.