it never ceases to amaze me HOW QUICKLY kids can fall into a routine. and how IMPORTANT that can become to them.
as a family, we pray before we eat meals. we sit at the table, we hold hands with each other and we close our eyes and dave prays. when the extended Dunkin clan is together, there’s a family prayer that we all say in unison (i believe Dave’s grandparents started that tradition).
SIDE STORY: the first time i had dinner with the Dunkins, back when Dave and i were dating, i hadn’t been forewarned about the family prayer. but i was later told "you get a pass the first time you eat with us. but the 2nd time, you should know the prayer." granted, they were joking… but since i wasn’t exactly sure (i wasn’t fully aware of the Dunkin Sense of Humor quite yet), i was NERVOUS on our way there for my SECOND family dinner. i kept repeating the prayer and i kept asking dave "is it ____ or is it ____?" (i don’t recall my actual "issues" with remembering the prayer). so the second time i ever ate dinner with the Dunkins, i said the prayer. and i think i got all the words right, even. i was pretty proud of myself. and then Tom (who was only 10 or 11 at the time) looked across the table and said something about me needing to work on my timing. guess i wasn’t as good as i thought.
But back to the story at hand: our kids don’t know the family prayer yet, but they will. for now, however, it’s VERY IMPORTANT to samantha that we remember to hold hands and close our eyes when we pray. she is often the first person to reach out to hold someone’s hand (currently my hand and nana’s hand). some evenings she even wants us to pray multiple times DURING a meal. she squints her eyes really tight (so they’re not always all the way closed) and when we finish, she says "Ah-Mah" (for "amen"). it’s something i find so precious.
**The Dunkin Family Prayer**
"Father, we thank Thee for this food. Bless it to our use and us to Thy service. In Jesus name, Amen."
When it’s someone’s birthday, Dave’s Dad will add "and thank you for xxxx" (insert the name of the birthday person).