slice of life

Bedtime Prayers with Patchy

Patchy and Ari face each other.

“Where’s Patchy?” I asked Ari.

“He’s at a hotel,” Ari replied.

“What’s he doing at a hotel?” I asked Ari.

“He’s on a trip,” Ari answered.

I sensed Ari was still a bit bitter about last week’s work trip I took. Instead of going down that road, I continued to play along so I asked, “When’s Patchy coming home?”

Ari peeked underneath his quilt and said, “He’s home from the hotel now!”

Ari made adorable stuffed-puppy sounds to celebrate Patchy’s return from the hotel.

“Is Patchy going to settle down to say prayers with us?”

Ari placed Patchy on his pillow and then, in a puppy voice, he sang the entire Sh’ma. I held it together — since it is the most important Jewish prayer — but inside I was giggling. There I was, snuggling beside my sweet little boy and his stuffed puppy who recited the prayer in perfect Hebrew.

I stifled my laugh and simply asked Ari, “Does Patchy know V’ahavta too?”

“No,” Ari said. “Just Sh’ma.”

“Well, you know V’ahavta so let’s say it together.”

Ari switched back to his normal three-year-old voice and chanted V’ahavta sweetly with me.

10 thoughts on “Bedtime Prayers with Patchy

  1. What a sweet moment. Don’t you wish you could be inside your children’s heads… the thinking that must go on to connect an event last week to a moment right now… the decisions re what Patchy the stuffed animal could and could not do?

  2. Priceless. I can just imagine the Shema in a puppy voice … I am thinking of how Patchy was a safe projection of feelings and ushered peace back to Ari. Sweet, sweet slice.

  3. Oh, I love this! From Patchy’s hotel visit, to singing important prayers in puppy voices and 3-year-old voices, to snuggling in as he goes to sleep. This moment is an antidote to so many things. May Patchy, Ari and you pray together for many nights to come.

  4. Playfulness, imagination and flexibility come handy when a little one has some emotions to sort out. I am glad Patchy returned from the hotel in time for prayers.

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