*PK is the nickname for children of clergy…pastor’s kid, or preacher’s kid, depending on the tradition.
I don’t pray with my kids. Weird, I guess, for a mom who prays professionally, but we didn’t pray together as a family in my home growing up, so it’s just not an embedded practice for me. Heck, I have enough time creating a habit of praying by myself, nevermind involving my children.
Also, my offspring do not currently attend church. The teens have been mainly raised in a secular home, and though they’ve visited a past congregation with me a few times, it’s just not their thing. Plus, Sundays they go with their mom. The littles started out strong. I wore both of them while I preached for their first six months. They came with me to meetings and napped on pews. I started at my current congregation about 15 months ago, and the boys tagged along with me most Sunday mornings, hanging out with a couple teenagers and acting as tiny acolytes. Rowan, who is currently five, even joined the choir to sing sometimes and loved chatting with his “buddies,” a group of older gentlemen. Robbie, now three, often toddled his way up to the chancel to hang out while I led worship. The adults just adored them, and truly welcomed us.
Then the pandemic hit.
It doesn’t really work for the boys to attend church with me online. We tried, in the beginning, but they loved seeing themselves on the computer screen a bit too much for me to be able to concentrate on leading worship, so they haven’t been to worship in almost a year. They miss it; they’ve told me. Yet with everything else going on, I just haven’t had the bandwidth to create any kind of spiritual practice or religious education for them as a replacement. Pastor mama fail.
Tonight at dinner, somehow the topic of a couple recently-deceased chickens came up. We talked a bit about them, what they were like, what happened to them (fox), how they felt. Rowan looked at me and said, “I’d like to say a little prayer for Poe and Hei-Hei.” I looked at him, honestly a little taken aback, and told him that of course he could. I told him he could always talk to God about anything. It felt a little weird, actually, to say it like that, with my husband right there.
Oh, did I mention that I married an atheist?
Anyway, conversation continued, seconds of food were requested and procured, and then suddenly I looked over and Rowan had his eyes closed, his head bowed, and his hands pressed together. “Dear God, I wish Poe and Hei-Hei hadn’t been killed by the fox. Amen.”
He looked over to me. I affirmed that it was a fine prayer, and we moved right along to cleaning up dishes and getting ready for bed. Potty, teeth, jammies, a couple stories, hugs and kisses, music on, and lights out.
No prayers. Maybe tomorrow night.