The Family J recently returned from a beach vacation in Florida. I wasn't able to go (proof again that academics don't really have "summers off") because I was working, but I met up with my folks for lunch the other day to hear the stories of their trip. As it turns out, one of the more exciting events during their little foray down South-er was the decision by my sister, my sister-and-law and my older niece Monkey to take a dive off of one of those giant bungee-swing things that you find in amusement parks. Now, the fact that Monkey, who is only 8 years old, had the gumption to ride one of those things would be a story in itself... but, of course, that's not the story.
This particular bungee-swing was one that held 3 people at a time, so they all got to ride together. Apparently, on the loooong way up, my sister-in-law began to rethink the wisdom of her decision and is reported to have said to Monkey: "This is going to be really scary when they pull the rope, so I might say something that I shouldn't say on the way down. Honey, I want to apologize in advance if your mom says something wrong. She doesn't mean it." They were pulled to the top of the tower and then free-falled some ridiculously frightening length, screaming all the way. But, thankfully, nobody said anything she shouldn't have said in front of children.
Later that night, when the kids were getting ready for bed, exhausted and exhilirated, Monkey was saying her prayers. She's a fairly elaborate and thorough pray-er, in my humble opinion, but her prayers are always sweet (even if a bit long and detailed). So, Monkey thanked God for the sun, and the sand, and all the fun she was having, and for her family who she loves very much. And then, for good measure, she added:
"And, God, thanks especially for helping mommy not to take your name in vain today on the scary ride."