Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Child's Prayer and Father's Wisdom

Tonight Jess and I were reflecting on a classic child prayer from a few weeks back.

Since Tayler pierced her ears, Rylee has repeatedly told us that she's not going to get her ears pierced. She's also realized that she can easily hurt Tayler's feelings by telling her that she doesn't like her anymore. So she says that a lot. A few weeks ago Tayler was talking about how she was excited to get baptized when she turns eight. In typical defiance, and to frustrate her OCD older sister, Rylee informed Tayler that she was not getting her ears pierced and "not getting baptized".

That night as Jess and Tayler knelt in prayer, Tayler sincerely pleaded with the Lord, "please help Rylee to accept the gospel and be baptized". (The way Rylee has been acting towards her lately, I would have expected the prayer to be, "Please help Rylee to stop being such a snotty little brat").

Last night Tayler came into my room crying because Rylee was being mean to her and telling her that she didn't like her anymore. I asked Tayler if she really thought Rylee didn't like her. She didn't really seem to have an answer. I tried another wise Fatherly tactic, "Don't worry about it. She doesn't mean it. If you act like it doesn't bother you she'll stop doing it." (My originality as a father is quite astounding. My kids are soooo lucky I can come up with such brilliant, thought-provoking anectdotes?) Tayler went away, slightly disappointed, I'm sure, that I didn't have more to offer. As Tayler returned to the bathroom where she had previously been verbally insulted by her three-year-old sister, I heard Rylee calmly ask, "What Daddy say Tayler?" (She wasn't the slightest bit worried that she might be in trouble. Merely curious as to what I had to offer.)

Tayler's answer demonstrated the deep impact my words of wisdom often have on her life. "I don't know."

Another Tayler classic: One night before bed Tayler and I read some scripture stories and she asked me a question about a church-related topic. I explained the gospel principle to her, and shared with her my feelings about it. After I finished, she looked at me for a moment longer and then added, "Daddy, you say those things in the name of Jesus Christ amen". Apparently, Tayler recognizes a testimony when she hears one and apparently has been listening a bit in sacrament meeting as she colors pictures for Jess and I.

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