Growing up, my family was sort of “holiday religious.” We didn’t necessarily go to church every Sunday, but when holidays rolled around; we got dressed up and headed to church with the rest of the extended family. Prayer circles were sort of that way, too. Though the extended family didn’t necessarily pray before every meal, when we were all together we always prayed in thanks and for safe travels home.
This past weekend was LMH’s first extended family Thanksgiving. There were so many perfect moments to choose from, but it’s the prayer circle that stands out. LMH was actually just about asleep in his soon-to-be new cousin’s swing when I picked him up so he could be a part of it. I held him facing outward, so he could see everyone. And, since my uncle and cousin, on either side of me, couldn’t hold my hand (because I was holding LMH), they held his foot and hand. He happily gripped them (or kicked them) back.
By the end of the short prayer he was cranky. I had disturbed his nap, after all. I didn’t mind, though. He had been there. He had shared that one perfect moment with three generations of our family, just like I remember sharing it with the three generations that came before him.
My mom, LMH’s “Nana,” brought a baby’s first Thanksgiving onesie for him to wear. But, I really wish there was a onesie that said “Mommy is thankful for ME.” Things were just so different a year ago and I’m beyond thankful that we have these moments to share now. Saturday’s prayer circle was one of those moments. Last year I was praying for him; This year I’m praying in thanks.