Keep the blessing short … please

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 31, 2006

My nephew Collier, 5, is our family&8217;s designated prayer deliverer. He&8217;s had this title for about two years, ever since my mother first heard his &8220;blessing,&8221; which comes in the form of a song.

As far as blessings go, it&8217;s right up there with the best ones, especially if it&8217;s done well. The problem we seem to have is Collier is good at starting his blessing but finishing it is hard for him.

When asked to say the blessing, Collier puts his two little hands together and bows his head, keeping one eye open to make sure no one is looking who shouldn&8217;t be. He then will start: &8220;God our father, God our father…&8221;

This is usually about the time he will decide someone is looking at him. &8220;Stop!&8221; he will yell, sort of defeating the whole blessing mood. It&8217;s usually at this time his mother will kneel down beside him and help him through.

And we start over.

&8220;God our father, God our father, we give thanks, we give thanks…&8221;

And he will stop again. At this point, the stoppage could be due to anything, including shyness, forgetting the words or his brother, Isaac, looking at him in a way he doesn&8217;t like. It&8217;s usually around this time we all start saying the words with Collier in hopes that the food will still be warm by the time he wraps things up. Sometimes, the help is appreciated; other times it&8217;s not.

&8220;God our father, God our father, we give thanks, we give thanks. For our many blessings, for our many blessings…&8221;

We&8217;re so close at this point. All we need is an &8220;Amen&8221; and it&8217;s time to eat. It&8217;s never quite that simple, however. If Collier doesn&8217;t like the fact everyone is singing with him, he&8217;s apt to start over and demand a solo performance. Other times he is fine with the chorus and just wants us all to do it again.

And we do.

&8220;God our father, God our father, we give thanks, we give thanks. For our many blessings, for our many blessings. Amen. Amen.&8221;

Finally, the food is blessed. Collier&8217;s grandmother proceeds to tell everyone his is the best blessing she has ever heard. Everyone else heads to the microwave to reheat dinner. Collier comes by his unique blessing naturally. In fact, I think it comes straight from his Aunt Le-Le. When I was little, my grandfather would ask me to pray. I would do so and proceed to pray and pray…

&8220;Thank you God for the broccoli. And thank you God for the sunny day. And thank you God for my dog. And thank you God for…&8221;&8221;Amen,&8221; my grandfather would interrupt.

Maybe that&8217;s what needs to be done. We just need to interrupt Collier but we sure would miss a lot, wouldn&8217;t we