Thursday, May 19

Be Not Afraid

Tonight was my "kid date" with my toddler. He was very excited that it was his turn to go with me all by himself.

He is two-and-a-half, and still working on speaking intelligibly. He is just going into the "parrot phase" and he loves to say prayers, but doesn't get a chance very often at home, simply because we can't understand most of what he says, and because he needs lots of prompting to get through.

After we were done at the park, we found a burger-and-fries joint and ordered our dinner. When our food was ready, we found a table and sat down. Well, I sat down in my chair, while he clambered up into his and plopped down, with his chin even with the table top.

I reached out and held his hands and asked him if he wanted to say the prayer. He said, "Zhesh, Mamma." (yes, Mommy), and proceeded to pray to the best of his abilities. I didn't have to prompt him until the very end, as he had forgotten how to finish up. I didn't understand most of what he said, but he wasn't talking to me, anyway.

He then dug into his fries and and ketchup like it was gourmet food, stopping every third fry or so to exclaim about how "nummy" it all was, and to say, "Hake-oo, Mamma, a much!" (thank you, Mommy, very much.)

It's funny to me, the stupid stuff I worry about. I was worried about taking him to a fast-food restaurant, because he might not behave. Well, he was good-as-gold, and there was hardly anyone in the dinning room, anyway.

I was worried about getting him a kid's meal, because I thought the toy would be a cheap disappointment and he would throw a fit about it, ruining anything good about our evening together. He loved the toy like it was the Crown Jewels, and clutched it in his little hands all the way home.

I was worried about praying with him over our food in public, because I didn't want to look foolish or expose us to ridicule. The senior couple dining near us - the only other people in our section of the dining room - stopped by our table as they were leaving. The gentleman put his hand on my son's little shoulder and said, "You've got a fine-looking boy here." And his wife said, "That was a good thing you did with him, praying on your meal. He's going to turn out all right."

Why do I worry? I had my little boy pray over our meal because I wanted to make him happy, it was his "kid date" after all, and he really likes to pray. But I hesitated because I was worried about what people around us might think. I should not have thought twice about it, whether in private or public.

I am grateful for little moments where I wrestle briefly with what to choose, make a decision, and then immediately see that it was right. I am grateful for more and more opportunities to take into my heart and into my life the words of my Savior, "Be not afraid, only believe." I like to think that the more of them I get, the stronger I become.

What are you blessed with today?

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