Bedtime had the makings of the perfect private moment to integrate a personal blessing into our routine. After we snuggled up to a story, I cupped my hands on my son’s head and began: “Dear God, thank you for blessing us with our son Jeremy who is …sensitive to other children’s feelings…who calls Grandma without being asked.” I took the time to recognize and say aloud his lovable attributes.
Then, I would follow it with a request. “Help Jeremy find the strength to be kinder to his sister.. to remember to lift the toilet seat.” It was effective. No one responds well to directives. Bedtime blessings became …
…an opportunity to have meaningful conversations building a foundation for open communication.
As the years passed, I would slack off allowing other evening activities to take precedence. Jeremy would be sure to remind me when I missed a night of blessing him. One night, he called to me, “Mom, You didn’t bless me for three nights!” He rattled off the list: “ Girls night out, parent teacher conferences, date night with Dad. What about me?” I left the dirty dishes in the sink and bounded up the stairs determined not to miss another night knowing how much he valued our special time together.
After the blessing, Jeremy asked, “Mom, who blesses you?” The question took me by surprise. I was taken back to my youth and the image of my Jewish friend on a Friday night after the sabbath candles were lit, standing in front of her father who murmured a heartfelt prayer and kissed her forehead.
The truth had to be told. “Jeremy, when I go to services at the synagogue, which isn’t often, the rabbi blesses the congregation. I close my eyes and feel the blessing of the rabbi’s words directly in my heart.”
“That’s it?” he replied dumbfounded. Jeremy put his hands on my head and blessed me. In that moment, I learned something profound. It doesn’t matter the age you attain, the education you acquire or the profession you practice. Anyone with the desire, can bless and enrich another person’s life.
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