Monday, December 4, 2006

His religious fervor is really cramping my style

Since about three weeks ago, we say grace in our house before every meal. Paolo has been trained at school to pause before dining to clap his hands together and say, "God is good. God is great. Let us thank Him for our food. Amen." I know he has the first two lines reversed. I've tried to correct him, but he answers to a higher power now. My husband keeps reminding me there's no harm in it (while telling me with his piercing glare that, if I roll my eyes again, I will be spending the night outside in the snow). I, however, feel that there are a lot more stops on the train ride between this "God" and our table. There's the cow, for instance, the farmer, the sun that shone on the fields, the rain that watered them. The butcher, the grocer, the loving, if faithless, mother who purchased and prepared this tasty and nutritious meal set before us, amen. I'm just saying, there are parties with stronger claims on deserving thanks for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Like any religious fanatic, Paolo takes the whole blessing thing too far. I handed him the whisk I used to make whipped cream so he could lick it, and he had to pray first. He saw me mid-granola bar, chewing an unsanctified bite, and was appalled. "Mama! You didn't say 'God is good'." Last night, Paolo had to go poop right as we sat down to dinner (as usual), and he kept yelling from the bathroom, between grunts, "Don't take any bites! We have to say 'God is good.' You're not eating, are you?" This level of piety, I don't need.

I'm pretty sure my fraudulent prayer is worse than not praying at all. It certainly isn't doing my peace of mind any good. Leave it to my darling husband to put a twinkle back in my eye. He suggested, if this is bothering me so much, I can revise the rhyme ever so slightly to stick it to them at school:

God is great. God is good. Let us thank Her for our food.


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