There is just something about the dinner hour. Even in summer, it’s a frenzied pace. Set the table, dish up, and try to maintain a modicum of peace while gently doling out the usual reminders (yes napkin, no elbows, et cetera). Usually we’re fork to mouth before someone bellows out, “We forgot to say the prayer!”

And I’ll admit that more often than not, I finish my bite with a side of aggravation before setting my head straight and putting Jesus ahead of chicken kabobs.

Usually we rotate who says it, unless mama is really hangry, in which case I volunteer myself, and a rapid utterance of not much more than “Good bread, good meat” comes out.

Last week our eldest asked if she could lead. Finding each other’s hands amidst the lemonade glasses and salad bowls, we bowed our heads and waited.

What followed was not the singsong prayer over Sunday School cookies that she learned in preschool.

Nor the stream of consciousness prayer for a classmate’s goldfish that died, or other of the moment matters of vital 2nd grade importance.

“Our Father who are in Heaven, Hal will be thy name.”

For a moment, I peeked at the little blonde across the table, eyes closed and brows furrowed in deep concentration. I remembered being right around her age when I first learned the Apostle’s Creed, and the sense of pride I felt when Mr. Jerry and Mrs. Mary Ann put a gold star by my name on the poster board in Sunday School.

“hamanah, hamanah, hamanah temptation, and delivery is evil.” (when Amazon Prime is late, yes.)

It’s hard and abstract to fully grasp these heavy holy phrases, especially when you’re seven.

But my heart was bursting with pride that she tried at all, and a darn fine effort if I do say so myself.

“…so fine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory – forever.” 

And she got an Amen.