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“Kids with room for God” (Lessons from a birthday party)


Tod Worner - published on 01/27/18

It was delightfully chaotic.

Nine fifth-grade girls (and a third grade sister) were celebrating my oldest daughter’s eleventh birthday. Emanating from downstairs were high pitch voices gleefully singing along with “boy band” music followed by an avalanche of giggles. Before long, little feet were feverishly padding upstairs and girls were shimmying themselves into tight spaces behind chairs and under tables in a game of hide-and-seek. I went downstairs to assess the damage done in the first thirty minutes to find the pull-out couch pulled out, pillows and blankets everywhere, the floor and table littered with game boards and materials from Clue, Uno and Twister. 

It was perfect.

But when the pile of pizzas and cheese bread, the chips and drinks were on the counter and all bodies swarmed to the table to eat, I was struck by something beautiful. Please, Mr. Worner and Thank you, Mrs. Worner. May I? and Would you please pass…? There was not one instance of pushing or crabbing, rudeness or selfishness. Everyone went out of their way to be polite to the other…without anyone having to be told and without ceasing to be kids.

And then when I asked them to stop for a moment and say grace before eating, they all made the sign of the cross and joined together,

Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty,

through Christ our Lord. Amen.

No one blanched or rolled their eyes. No elbow from my daughter. No shrinking from her friends.

They all simply prayed. Because that is what you do.

Oh, mind you, they were rambunctious and witty and hilarious and silly. At dinner, they played games guessing my daughter’s favorite food or favorite sport. There was the occasional burp (accidental, of course?) and the obligatory drink coming out of a nose. They were kids, to be sure.

But they were good kids with room for God.

How wonderful.

Happy Catholic Schools’ Week!

Photo credit: Pixabay

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