Sunday, October 4, 2015


When we were very young, our mother said our prayers with us each night.  Imagine two little tow-headed children, on their knees, heads against their folded hands on the bedspread.  Until we could remember the entire prayer,  our mother would recite each line and we'd repeat it.  We had two prayers; one was Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and the other was The Lord's Prayer.  I wish I had a video of it because I think we must have been too darn cute.

My mother explained The Lord's Prayer, telling us the meaning of hallowed and debtors. I suppose she thought the Now I Lay Me Prayer was clear but I always thought the first word of the prayer was Nowilayme. I don't know what I thought that meant but it was a word to me.

For those that don't know, the prayer is:

Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

My mother had us add a few more lines.  They went like this:

God bless Mommy and Daddy,
And Susan and Johnny,
And everybody in the whole wide world.

Isn't that sweet?

My parents got divorced when I as about 7.  We quickly got a step-mother; the first of 3.  Her name was Katie and we did not like her. As an adult, I think back to why I didn't like her.  I'm sure much of it had to do with the fact the my mother didn't like her.  And my father pushed her on us way too quickly.  I also think she just wasn't the easiest person to warm to.  She was loud and brash.  She swore and drank up a storm.  When I was 10 she told me she was a better mother to me than my mother.  I don't know if I'd like her today if I met her but I probably wouldn't have hated her and considered her the Cruella DeVille of my life.

At some point, shortly after the divorce, my brother and I add a new ending to the prayer.  Now it went:

God bless Mommy and Daddy,
And Susan and Johnny,
And everybody in the whole wide world.
Except Katie.

I'm not going to examine why a mother let two children ask God not to bless one person but it worked for us.

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