It is my habit when tucking in our girls at night to say a prayer to end their day to prepare them for sleep. It is the daily blessing I give as a father to my girls. We have a routine to our prayer, we pray to bring honor to God and His name, we pray to grow in His knowledge and grace, we pray for various people, and for our family. Sometimes we pray for various issues in life that we are concerned about.
The night before last I sent the girls to bed and allowed them to watch some television until I could come to tuck them in bed to say the daily blessing. By the time I went into their room, Hannah, my middle child, had fallen fast asleep while Zoe was still awake. I said a prayer with Zoe, and then I said a prayer with Hannah, even though she was sound asleep. I became concerned about how Hannah was going to react if she woke up before sunrise in the morning because Hannah is a stickler for routine, and when a routine is broken she becomes very upset. I knew that if she woke up she was going to think that her daddy had forgotten to come say the daily blessing with her, and it brings me heartache to think that she would believe that I had forgotten her.
Later that night in the wee hours of the early morning, sure enough Hannah woke up and she quietly opened and shut the door to the bedroom and came quietly to find a sleepy daddy to see why I had not said the nighttime prayer with her. Hannah spoke to me in her broken toddler-like English which actually tends to sound more like Chinese at times. I was tired and sleepy so I really did not understand the words she was speaking to me, but I did know what she was trying to communicate to me because I know my girls and have done my best to study them. When you live with someone for a time you get to know them, their habits, the way they think, their personality. I knew Hannah was asking me why I had not come to say the night-night prayer with her.
I got up out of bed and we went back to her bedroom. She was very pleased when I got up. She headed right back to her bed and crawled up in bed in the manner that only Hannah does. I gave her, her three blankets. She wrapped two of them around her body like a cape and then tucked them completely around her so that she looked like a “pig-in-a-blanket.” (A pig-in-a-blanket is a food item in which a hot dog or small sausage like food is wrapped in bread dough and cooked till done) I laid the last blanket on top of her and then tucked her under her comforter. I proceeded with the daily blessing again, except this time she was awake and conscious of my blessing, then she chirped, hummed, and make bird-like noises which are signs that she is pleased and content. I also kissed her on her head. She was going to sleep again knowing now that her daddy had now officially fulfilled the daily blessing duty in her mind. I returned to my bed. I too now could sleep peacefully and happily as I smiled knowing that her heart was satisfied and secured by the daily blessing and the love of a daddy who met her spiritual needs. I felt fulfilled as a man and a father, as if I had just completed a task for which God had assigned for and created me to do.
Hannah is about 2 ½ years old and Zoe is almost 5 ½ years old. My, oh my, how time does fly!