Give me, grant me, help me.

I saw my first Christmas tree today, in the local West Elm store. I was scared — did I get my dates mixed up? And then we moved on to the next store, and they had the Christmas muzak going. I got nervous, and my daughter sort of snorted at me and said, “Mom, it’s NOVEMBER already.” Oh.

She’s right — it IS November. I remember now: the days are getting shorter and the whining is getting longer. The decreasing amount of sunlight is in inverse proportion to the amount of malaise setting in around my house: everyone’s bored, everyone’s tired, everyone’s got a cold, everyone needs a new Xbox/iPod/cell phone/pair of Converse/laptop computer….And the trimester is about to end for everyone, so the calendar is full of tests to be taken, papers to be written, assignments to be completed.

The husband is gone again for a long-ish trip, and Sundays — no matter the decreasing amount of sunlight — are way too long. Just today I’ve reached my quote of “I’m bored”s and “I don’t wanna”s, and it’s just now 3 pm.

But God’s in the small things, and while cleaning off my desk I found a prayer that was handed out to every parent at the beginning of my daughters’ school year. All the children go to Catholic school — despite (or because of?) my angst about The Church — and the girls’ school has a new Head. She brought this prayer with her from her old school in St. Louis, and it is lovely. Because it was a girls’ school, the pronouns are female; feel free to edit for your particular brand of monkeys.

I’m reproducing it here, because these shortened days of elongated whining can get to a parent, and with Thanksgiving and the Christmas/holiday season shortly upon us, I need all the help I can get:

I pray that I may let my child live her own life and not the one I wished I had lived.
Therefore, guard me against burdening her with doing what I failed to do.

Help me see her missteps today in perspective agains the long road she must travel.
Grant me the grace to be patient with her pace.

Give me the wisdom to know when to smile at the small mischief of her age,
and when to show firmness against the impulses she fears and cannot handle.

Help me to hear the anguish in her heart, through the din of angry words or across the gulf of her sometime brooding silence.
And, having heard, grant me the ability to bridge the gap between us with understanding.

I pray that I may raise my voice more in joy at what she is, than vexation at what she is not, so that she may grow in sureness of herself.

Help me to regard her with geniune affection so that she will feel affection for others.

Then give me the strength to free her so she can move strongly on her way.

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6 Responses to “Give me, grant me, help me.”

  1. MKJ Says:

    I’m going to endlessly chant “give me grace to be patient with his pace”. Am I still allowed to sigh though when he is not looking? It really helps.

    Alyson says:

    I think sighing is entirely appropriate. As is lamaze-style breathing and chanting Serenity Now! under your breath.

  2. liz Says:

    That’s a lovely little prayer, Alyson!

    I think you should photocopy it and hang it up on the back of every door and on every mirror to help keep you from going crazy with the kids this winter.
    liz recently posted..A Non-Birthday Birthday Party

    Alyson says:

    You’re right. Because a tattoo of it would take up too much space.

  3. Khara Says:

    That is perfect! Thank you for sharing it!

    Alyson says:

    Thanks for stopping by!

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