It was the end of a long day, and I was just putting my little son to bed.
"O.K., Mikey time to say your prayers!" I gently reminded him.
Well, Mikey got down on his little knees, and put his hands together and looked very serious, as he quite often did when he said his prayers. Then off he started on his usual long and rambling list of very important childish things that he wanted to say to God.
I tip-toed out of the room to get something, and when I came back a minute or two later, little Mikey was just finishing up, saying:
"... and most of all, God, thank-you for Mrs Squid Heavens - cos she's the nicest teacher ever! I like Mrs Squid Heavens, God! A-men!"
Now, I couldn't help grinning at this last little note, appended as it was at the end of Mikey's prayer.
Mrs Squid Heavens? I thought - who was she?
"Mikey," I enquired, trying not to sound too much like I was prying, "Who is Mrs Squid Heavens?"
"Oh, she's my new teacher at pre-school," said Mikey, in a very serious little voice. "She's cool!"
"Are you sure that's her name?" I continued.
Mikey nodded his head vigorously.
"Yep!" he assured me.
I smiled - somehow I doubted that Mikey's information was quite right on this one.
"Well good-night, darling Mikey!" I said, giving my little guy a great, big hug and a kiss.
"G'night Mom!" returned a very sleepy little son.
Two days later, I walked Mikey to his pre-school class. I was greeted by a mature and very kindly lady, with a wonderful, bright smile.
"Why, hello Mikey!" she said, warmly.
"Hello!" returned my little man, smiling shyly.
"And you must be Mikey's mom," said this new teacher, reaching out to shake my hand.
"Yes, that's right, I am. I'm very pleased to meet you!" I replied.
But I couldn't help smiling.
There, on this new teacher's lapel, was a name tag. The letters were embossed in gold. They read:
'Mrs Gwyn Evyns'. Immediately, my brain made the connection - Squid Heavens! Now little Mikey's prayer made sense!
I looked into the kind, sparkling eyes of this new teachers face, and I thought to myself, when I get to know her a little better, I must tell Mrs Gwyn Evyns about Mikey's interpretation of her name! I felt sure, that like me, she would find it rather amusing!
Lord, I guess what I'm trying to say here, in my own long and rambling adult way is this: thank-you for our children! They surely are one of your greatest gifts! And it's times like the other night, when they're down on their little knees at bed-time, praying so earnestly for Squid Heavens (or whatever other variations on a theme children can come up with!)that they make us love them even more, if that's possible! Lord - protect our children; help us give them happy lives! And with your loving guidance, help us to be the best parents that we can be - and Lord? May all their teachers be as wonderful as Squid Heavens!
2010 Laura Swindon-Ross. All rights reserved.
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I'm a teacher and Christian writer.