God Cracker (n.) meaning communion wafer. Used in a sentence, “Mom, I want a God Cracker!”
My boys have always been inquisitive about how things work and tend to ask frequently if they can engage in the same activities as adults. During a Sunday church service several weeks ago, my son made a unique observation. We were nearing the part of the service when it was almost time for communion and there was discussion in our pew as to whether or not our younger son could partake in the sacrament. My husband and I, being of a traditional mindset, have chosen to make the boys wait to commune until they have received the proper instruction about the sacraments and their meaning from the Pastor. Of course, the five-year-old started in a downward spiral of negotiation about wanting a “God Cracker” (communion wafer) of his own to eat. I found the terminology so funny at the time, but have pondered the sincere tone in which he said it like many other words he has so very seriously created in the last five years. I began thinking to myself, “This kid probably understands what is happening right now much better than most adults do.”
Since that day, I have really been trying to listen and engage with the boys more diligently. I realized how much I am missing by simply pushing their needs to the wayside for the sake of getting things done at the office or at home. Quite honestly, the realization hit me like a ton of bricks. It is hard to deny that 2020 and 2021 have been monumental for real estate. However, with the rewards come great sacrifices for any parent working a seven day a week job. The two small humans whom I have the privilege of raising often have to spend hours at my workplace. Fortunately, I have one who is taking a shine to being behind camera and another who can read a tape measure better than Bob Vila. Bet you didn’t know that a five-year-old and an eight-year-old are becoming the office heavies! Don’t be calling the labor department just yet, though. They get paid in milk and cookies.
Despite the time we work together, the boys still spend a large portion of their day at school or in the care of someone else other than myself or my husband. Could it be that their sudden interest in my work is just so they can spend time with me? Could it be that their constant requests for me to snap a photo of them in their “tater tot” (tank top) shirts, to stay home and play on a Saturday afternoon, or to watch an episode of PBS Kids in the rocking chair is a cry for just a little bit more mom time? Kids are intuitive. Somehow, the day my five-year-old coined the term “God Crackers,” he knew just what his mother was missing.
It is no secret that I thrive on the many entertaining anecdotes and conversations that my children offer. I mean, who else could teach me to sing a Chris Stapleton song like this, “Baby, I will be your pair of shoes [parachute]?!” They are both at a formative age where they are consistently developing opinions and perspectives about the world around them. In most cases, I have never looked at such things from those perspectives before despite numerous encounters. These observations have grown to be a part of our normal vernacular at home as we adopt their vocabulary into our own daily use. To see the world through the eyes of a child may truly be one of the most sought after sources of joy. It is a welcome relief in our household as my husband and I approach our 10th year of hate and discontent (and I say that in the most lovingly sarcastic way possible) since the blessed wine and hula hoop dance of 2011. This milestone has given pause for reflection as we enter into a seemingly quieter time of our life filled with daily routine as well as a special kind of exploration and observation through our very own children’s eyes.
A younger, more idealistic Trisha Peters was going to marry a farmer and be a stay at home mom, much like my own mother. I was going to have healthy homemade snacks for our four kids after school and teach them to read chapter books and write cursive before Kindergarten. In reality, my kids got the older, career-driven Trisha Peters who throws a smushed package of Mini-Muffins and a Diet Coke in the back seat of the car as we head to the next house showing. Nonetheless, they give me daily grace for my shortcomings, and I am giving them as much time as I can right now. So, please forgive me in advance if I don’t get my Christmas cards sent out, if I choose not to donate to the next school fundraiser, or if I don’t show up for Chamber Coffee and Business After Hours. I’ve got years to work on my Citizen of the Year nomination platform, but I’ve only got a super short time to hear about the kid that farted really loud on the bus who then forced all the other kids to open the windows and yell out, “It stinks in here!” (True story from a third grade dreamer.) Fortunately, God knew I needed two little boys to make the world go round and then he gave me some God Crackers to keep me from flying off into outer space. Welcome Home.