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.”