We've been saying grace before meals for months now, just trying to pause, hold hands and say one thing we're thankful for that day. Audrey usually gets left out, because she's in her highchair and it's too far to reach. We ask her at the end, and then Lance fills in that she's thankful for broccoli or her babies or something. The grace time is usually filled with Lance sneaking food, pulling uncomfortably on Pat's thumbs, being silly, or taking control of who goes first.
But tonight we forgot to say grace until we were almost done, and Audrey had already eaten and gotten out of her highchair. She was standing next to Pat, so he asked if she wanted to hold his hand. She "told us," through her usual "uh, uh" and trying to climb onto the chair, that she wanted to sit at the 4th chair like a big girl. We helped her up, and she sat there, BEAMING, holding my hand on one side and Pat's hand on the other, like such a member of the family! When we finished and dropped hands, she signed "MORE!" So we did it again, with bigger smiles and a few more tears in our eyes.
I'm thankful for my kids, no matter how fast they're growing up.
Editor's addition: Amazing Grace tonight - 11/16/07. She was fussy in her highchair, didn't really want to eat dinner. We let her get down, and she was whining and pulling at us while we tried to finish dinner. Finally, she went into the family room to play with a book. The Boy suddenly says, "We forgot to say grace!" And she pops up and RUNS back to the table and grabs our hands, standing calmly and quietly while we give thanks, with tears in our eyes...