Tweens Praying Over the Spaghetti

by Chrysula on December 9, 2012 in mothering,story-telling

I’m in the land of tweens and I have no idea what I’m doing. Mean girls are everywhere. There’s lots of signs I’m doing this all wrong (me, not her). But every now and then there is a moment, and it changes everything. You can mentally allow yourself to fast forward to a future global citizen, a net contributor to society. You breathe, and you realize it’s all going to be OK.

We had a milestone celebration the other day. Seven ten year olds came for a “sleep under” (the sleep over you have when they go home at 10pm!). Favorite meal, cake and ice cream, games and a giant pillow fight were obligatory. Lots of screaming, squealing and laughing. An injury from the over zealous afore mentioned pillow fight was inevitable. A movie and nail painting calmed everyone down.

As we gathered around the dinner table for piles of spaghetti bolognese, my girl explained that in our home we prayed over meals and asked if all were comfortable. I held my breath at this test of friendship. How would they react? As it turned out, there were four Christian denominations and Islam represented around the table. The girls were just fine. I should have trusted my daughter’s judgement in friends. But they’ve been a long time coming into her life and I wondered.

Then the magical thing unfolded. She asked if anyone else wanted to share a prayer. She explained that she wanted to create a sense of welcomeness and equality, so that everyone felt heard and included and represented. The girls were enthusiastic and I peeked in awe as four of the children prayed–one by one–over that spaghetti.

It was the holiest meal I think I’ve ever eaten. I saw from a group of tweens around my dining room table just what’s possible when we seek unity instead of division, when we are inclusive instead of exclusive, when we are bold *and* compassionate in the articulation of our beliefs. I wept quietly in the kitchen and exchanged special looks with my Beloved. Looks that said, “even though we have no idea what we’re doing, something is going right.”

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

tracy@sellabitmum December 9, 2012 at 5:28 pm

A beautiful way to start my morning. Love your girl. xo

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Chrysula December 10, 2012 at 7:59 am

Tracy, she’s a complex one. I sure am learning every day! Thanks for taking the time … how did YOUR slumber party go crazy woman?!

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Vanalee December 10, 2012 at 5:30 am

I loved this post! I think most of the times kids just get it. I have watched the way my children and now my grandchildren are so compassionate, thoughtful and inclusive.

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Chrysula December 10, 2012 at 8:06 am

Vanalee, thank you! I feel like when they do get it, it’s purer, more guileless. It comes straight from this very real place. How old are your grandkids? What wisdom do you have for me getting through the coming teen years?!

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