“My son’s sweet sacrifice” – guest post by Abby Skradski
My youngest son, Tommy, who is in kindergarten, was playing up in his room this past Sunday evening and didn’t want anyone to see what he was doing. It was a surprise. He then chose to sleep on the floor in his brother’s room that night. Monday after school he said he had an important family announcement as soon as dad got home.
He had turned his room into a family prayer space with four distinct centers/focus areas! There was a place to honor the Eucharist, a place for prayerful reading, a place of honor for Mary and our Guardian Angels, and a place to contemplate the face of Jesus (and look at Holy Cards). I told him it looked like his own atrium, and he shouted “YES!!!!!” He wanted to give up his room to be used as a center for family prayer (also still a Lego play space).
I knew he had been planning this for a while; about two weeks ago he asked me to go through his room with him and tell him about all the sacramentals/religious items that were his own. I think this is a testament to what he’s learning and experiencing in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and during his entire school days at St. Thomas More.
Upon the reveal, Tommy’s big brother, Patrick (4th grade), got down on the floor to check out all the options, and he seemed impressed that his little brother put it all together on his own. My husband was impressed, too. Impressed to see the art/religious craft projects brought home from school put into practical use, and that he did it using his own creativity and initiative.
Tommy still has everything organized in groups on his floor currently. Any parent knows that this setup can’t be a long-term solution, so I need to figure out how I can keep this going and encourage it while integrating it into the furniture we have in his room already. Maybe it’s time to swap out the stuffed animal pile in the corner with a side table (Dad is a fan of this idea!)? We hope we can create a home altar as we encourage Tommy’s enthusiasm for the whole family. We may have to scale down his initial creation a bit, but he’ll still get to “host” us praying the rosary or other devotional prayers together in his room. We can decorate the space to correspond with liturgical seasons or pull out a different saint’s holy card on or around their feast days. We have lots of sacramentals sprinkled throughout our home, so we are constantly reminded of God’s grace, but no one central space to come together to pray. The fact that Tommy is offering his own space to create a quiet, dedicated place of prayer and reflection to the whole family is a great act of love. The willingness and desire for him to give up his personal space for the sake of the family is seriously the most sacrificial thing I’ve experienced either of my children doing.
Written by Abby Skradski, Director of Advancement for the Omaha Catholic School Consortium
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