I played my "mommy card" on Sunday and told Addi she needed to take a nap. She was grumpy, had been up past her bedtime the night before and we were going to be up late again watching the Superbowl. I knew her regular quiet time just wasn't going to be enough to get us through the evening without a major meltdown.
Once tucked in her bed she pouted a little, shed a few tears, and was then as quiet as could be for the next hour and a half. I assumed she had drifted off into a sweet slumber and decided I was in need of a short siesta, as well.
When I went in to get her up I noticed Addi was already wide awake and just laying in bed. She gave me a half-hearted smile was unusally quiet. I quickly enlisted her help making some snackies for the Superbowl. She loves to help me cook.
Down in the kitchen I sat her on the counter and we started mixing ingredients. While stirring she remained fairly quiet and distracted. Sensing something was wrong, I sat down next to her on the counter.
M: "Are you ok, honey? You seem awfully quiet."
A: "Mommy, I prayed a LOT during my nap."
My grin spread from ear to ear. Finally! All of our before meal, nighttime, and impromtu prayers were sinking in. She's starting to "get" it, I thought!
M: "Really?! That's great! Do you want to share what you were praying about?"
Her answer was like a kick in the gut. A slap in the face.
Her big brown eyes welled up with tears.
A: "I prayed that you would go away, Mommy. "
"I was so mad at you. I didn't want to take a nap and you said I had to. I couldn't sleep and I felt so mad. I'm sorry, Mommy."
I quickly pulled her on to my lap, while trying to think of the perfect thing to say. I wasn't prepared for this. It should have been a teachable moment, right?
Even though I wasn't sure of how to respond, one thing I *was* sure about was that I knew just how she felt! It was clear as day. I remembered praying that exact prayer about MY mom when I was seven and she wouldn't buy me Nadine, the cute, blonde Cabbage Patch Kid in Kmart. I was convinced she was the long lost twin sister of Natalie, my favorite doll. I thought they were meant to be together. And my mom didn't. So I did what my own daughter had done. I prayed her away. Lucky for me, God didn't listen. And in the end, his unanswered prayer was a powerful lesson -- one I was anxious to pass on.
Addi and I spent the next few minutes hugging and talking. I'm still not sure I said all the right things. I hope my words encouraged her to continue praying and expressing her feelings. I am confindent, however, of 3 things:
1. My maturing 4-year-old is learning about the nature and power of prayer! And it's awesome!
2. I'd better watch my back. Enough prayers like that and The Big Guy just might follow through.
3. Unanswered prayers are still one of His greatest gifts. He still knows what is best for us, even if it is a mean 'ol mommy.
But that's not all. The story gets better. My sweet Addi was quick to heal my semi-broken heart and mend my mommy pride when she concluded:
"Mommy? I'm sooooo glad you're still here."
***ANNNND, cue Garth Brooks...sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.....****