I’m not a praying person. At least not in the conventional way. I don’t attend church and I don’t have a bedtime ritual or even a dinnertime ritual that involves any kind of prayer or meditation. Unless of course you count our five year old who occasionally feels compelled to say the mealtime prayer she learned at school, which ends: “thank you God for feeling me.” She says feeling me instead of feeding me.

Any time I travel by plane, I engage my pre-flight ritual. It’s a very informal phrase I recite silently as I walk the jetway to board a plane. I used to close my eyes but after one collision with a headphone-wearing teenager, I’ve decided to keep my eyes open. I’ve been saying it to myself for years. Every plane flight. Same words, same sense of worry, same intention. And even though I don’t always remember to express gratitude every day, I do always remember to pause when my plane has landed safely and send a silent note of gratitude to the universe. Just my way of coping with my fear of flying, I suppose, without letting it paralyze me and literally ground me.

But despite the lack of any formal prayer routine, I find myself thinking lots of little prayers or whispers throughout the day. Please help her to be a good friend. Please help her be patient with herself. Please keep him safe. Please help me not yell so much. Please don’t let me buy any more Oreos. 

I like to think that whomever receives my little prayers and whispers is sympathetic to the Oreo struggle.

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I saw this today in a friend’s Facebook feed and I liked it.

I try really hard to not be one of those helicopter parents, but it’s hard. Oh my lord is it hard. Sometimes, I just want to get a huge roll of bubble wrap and wrap it around my kids’ hearts, bodies, minds, spirits – so nothing can hurt their little bodies and their little hearts.

I know it’s not practical, but I still wish I could do it.
Since I can’t, I think I’ll lean on this.