Here’s the song reference.
Bugaboo awoke while I was in the shower this morning. When I emerged from our bedroom, still shaking a couple of stray drops of water from my ears, Manie greeted me with somewhat of a mysterious smile.
“Wait until you see what Bugaboo just did.”
Our oldest daughter sprinted down the short hallway towards me, clutching a piece of newsprint handwriting paper in her wee hand. She thrust it at me with a gigantic grin, exclaiming as she did so, “Look, Mommy, I did this all by myself! I just wanted to write something, so I wrote this!”
There, glowing blue against the grey paper, were the words to the Sign of the Cross prayer.
I should point out that penmanship lessons with Bugaboo have been compared to wrestling greased anacondas in the Amazon River. For several seconds, my jaw opened and closed, but my vocal cords were unable to cooperate with its motion. Bugaboo stood there, the joy on her face starting to fade to uncertainty, so I resorted to the simple expedient of sweeping her and her paper up in my arms and hugging her tightly. When I regained the ability to speak, I whispered into her hair, “I am so, so proud of you, sweetheart, and God is too, because you thought of Him.”
She has never before asked for a piece of paper and a writing instrument to simply write down what was on her mind. Manie confirmed that this was, in fact, what had happened, and that he had not helped her in any way — he thought she was writing one of her pretend letters, which are generally composed of wavy lines running across the page, narrated as she scrawls. He was as thunderstruck as I was when he saw what she had done.
Manie left for work, and we passed a pleasant hour before the rest of the tribe awoke. I praised her more for deciding to create her own handwriting practice, and then yet more for choosing a prayer for her practice passage. As she left the table to tiptoe into her room for a fairy doll retrieval mission, she casually said, “You keep telling me that if we put God first, everything else will fall into place. So I had God be the first thing I did this morning, and now I’m happy. I should do something for God first every morning so all my mornings will be happy.”
Today’s prayer: Lord, thank You for blessing us with Bugaboo, who sees through all the complexities adults try to impose on faith and reduces it to what it true, right, and simple: that You commanded us to first love You with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. If we begin each day with You, Lord, the day’s petty annoyances and even heavy trials are bearable, because we have started by remembering that You are with us always and in all things. Please, Lord, grant me the grace of a prayerful heart, and as we train up Your blessings in the ways they should go, keep us ever mindful that if we put love for You first, while we may be odd in the eyes of the world, we will be doing Your work whithersoever we go.