Brooke, summer 2010, stopping to ‘pray’ (with Isa the Iguana) in the middle of the local play space



Brooke will often tell me that she is going to pray. She will say something to the effect of (I can’t remember the exact line right now), “”You stay here. I’m going over there to pray now.” I’m sure you won’t be shocked to hear that it’s a line from Godspell.

She is acting out the scene from the movie in which Jesus tells the ‘disciples’ to stay behind as he heads out to pray alone – an obvious allusion to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus says, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will but as Thou wilt.”

She looks so peaceful when she ‘prays’, though I’ve always assumed at those moments that she was simply acting out a favorite scene from a favorite movie, as she so loves to do.

Sometimes she will give prayer ‘instructions’. As she sits down and assumes the position, she will tell me – or anyone within ear shot – that to pray, ‘You put your head down like this and close your eyes like this’. Last night, she did just that.

She was lying across the top of the couch, her hands pressed together and her eyes closed.

She said, “When we pray, we either put our head up or down and close our eyes and dream it.”

I’d never heard her say, ‘dream it’ before. I was fascinated by this new addition to the routine.

“You dream it, honey?” I asked.

She acknowledged my question with a quiet, “Yeah” and then added the following.

“And swirl around and feel it.”

So much for simply acting out a favorite scene from a movie. I think my daughter just taught me to pray.




23 thoughts on “prayer

  1. Well, I’m not at all surprised. I suspect there’ve always been the visions, sensations, dreaming…she’s just now able to share it. For which I am grateful.

  2. nothing better than hearing, “Dear God please stop the thunderstorm, Amen”, that’s Aidan praying to stop the madness, AKA, thunderstorms….Go Brooke Go!

  3. Not to be Debbie Downer, but that’s the Blue’s Clues Imagin-ation episode script.

    “First I close my eyes and dream it. Then I swirl around and feel it. Then I open my eyes, and I can see it there!” sings Steve to Mr. Salt.

    Still, I’d really would pay attention in church if those were actually the words that the priest said. Can’t you envision pews full of congregants swirling silently with their eyes shut? Prayer with power!

    Love you DOAM and Brooke!

    • Nice remembering! It DOES tell us something about Brooke’s feelings when she’s hooking these two scripts together. It’s still echolalia, but what a powerful message she’s pulling together to communicate!

  4. Wow. 12 years of catholic school left me numb. Brooke, as always, leaves me inspired. I’d go to her church in a nano-second!

  5. Dear DOAM –

    I forgot to add something very important to my earlier post – probably the most important part – to say “I’m sorry.” That should have been right there on the first line.

    Perhaps I should have written that after reading your post,I Googled Blue’s Clues just to be sure. That I watched the entire episode on YouTube before writing my post. I wanted to be sure before I said anything, but since we too live in a script-driven world, I knew I’d heard those phrases before. I posted not to be hurtful, but more along the lines of “Oh – I’ve figured that one out!” As in, why does my son keep shouting “Forsooth!” and months later I realized he is quoting from the kingfish in Elmo’s World “Fishes” episode. Ah – relief – NOW I know where that came from!

    I wish I had been more eloquent in saying what others have already said – it is an incredible gift to link one’s expressions of ideas and words, even scripts, and share them with the world. It does not lessen what Brooke achieved or communicated. My son’s “Forsooth!” is certainly not linked to anything that I can discern. But I still have hope that perhaps someday, I will ‘get’ it.

    It never occured to me yesterday that perhaps I should not send my post. I never thought – “just keep it to yourself” – so I apologize. Today, I would take it back if I could.

    • I hope I didn’t make you feel badly. I certainly didn’t mean to. I knew exactly where ‘you were coming from and it was lovingly and sensitively framed.

      But just as it is at home when something I’m convinced is novel is off-handedly referenced to its origin, (usually by big sister) it stings a little. Or a lot.

      But please, please know that I absolutely read it in context – as coming from someone who got it, who understood that it was still beautiful, and who cares about my girl. All good things.

      Thank you for your note, but no apologies (nor censorship!) necessary. I promise.

  6. she has such a wonderful mind, that brooke. i love that she gave you a little window into her thoughts, the “swirling” comment, any time you can see a little more of her internal life, it’s a seriously great thing. thoughts and feelings must be so intense for her, and she will no doubt be sharing more with you, it’s exciting.

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