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i say a little prayer

published: 2019-09-30

My son, now 13, can’t get to sleep. So I lie next to him, on my back. And as I fold my hands on my chest, I am suddenly reminded of something.
“How about we pray?” I ask him.
“How?” he inquires.
“I guess you can just fold your hands over your chest.”
He rolls over on to his back and does this.
“And then?”
“Then maybe you can think of all the people you care about. And wish them well in your mind.”
“Can we do it out loud?”
One by one he names all members of our family, and extended family, is careful not to skip a single person.
When he’s done I ask, “is there anyone that might need an extra special thought?” In turns, we list people who are having a hard time, including generic groups of people who we don’t know personally.
He then turns back to his side and asks “can I do it on my side or do I have to do it on my back?”
He is fast asleep within a few minutes.
Later, as I lay tossing and turning in my own bed, obsessing about wrongdoings in my life or stressful events, I realise something. I fold my hands and pray for others as opposed to mulling over me. I fall asleep.

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