First, Lord…no motorcycles. May his eyes never be tempted with the look of shiny black and chrome for the “need for speed” is highly overrated.
And please make him smart. I’m not even referring to academics right now, God. But give him some common sense. May a girlfriend’s name or a Chinese symbol of strength never adorn his bicep.
And when beer and drugs are offered I pray he will remember his mother, who cut the crust off his peanut butter sandwiches, and flee like he’s being chased by a rabid hyena.
Grant him the discernment of character to avoid any all-black-wearing, gun-slinging, pant sagging types who think that driving to the convenience store during 3rd period is the best they can do when they skip class.
Lead him away from the violin or drums for the sake of the family and any people who have ears and would listen to him practice. Set him in the direction the piano or a low pitched woodwind instrument.
Give him a sense of humor that is actually funny. Help him seldom be the recipient of the pity laugh, but reign in friends and foes alike with his wit and charm. And when people don’t get his jokes or his sense of humor, give him the confident strength to know those people are lame.
I pray for a good and long awkward stage that will not prevent him from having friends, but will ward off the female dating predators well into his teens (or twenties).
Oh Lord, may his indiscretion and stupid mistakes never be turned into digital media. Keep his future skinny dipping and egging the neighbor’s house escapades far from YouTube.
And when the day comes when he demands that I finish his science project that is due tomorrow “AND IF YOU DON’T HELP ME I WILL FAIL!” I pray for the strength to go to bed and let him learn his lesson.
Guide him. Protect him…when crossing the street, swimming in pools, lakes and the ocean, when riding a bike, or anything else with wheels, driving (especially on windy roads and over bridges and when refusing to use a “hands-free” cell phone like his mother), while using ladders or high step stools, on rides put up by carnies, getting on and off boats, while driving through downtown, and in any car for the rest of his days.
I spend 7 hours a day with 5th graders. I do this because it is my job. I also do this because I like it and I love them. I have my own baby boy that I get to come home to every afternoon, but my days are filled to the brim with long division, fractions, colony reports, and drama, like only an 11 year old girl can provide.
There. That is the perspective from which I am writing: I am a teacher.