Mealtimes at our home are—how shall I put it—challenging. With three young children, our mealtimes are spent bargaining, cutting everything into choke-resistant pieces, keeping the food separated on the plate, breaking up fights, attempting to prevent yogurt slinging, making airplanes or choo-choo trains, and praying that no one upends the spaghetti onto the floor.
It can be chaotic from start to finish. And someone—usually me—ends up crying or rage cleaning. Sometimes I wonder, why do I even try to teach them table manners?!
But then I see them figure out something new. The eldest figures out to how make a PB&J all by herself. Or the baby figures out how to use a spoon without the food falling off en route to his mouth. Or my middle child learns to load his own plate into the washer.
The efforts are worth it. We attempt to plant those seeds of proper behavior at mealtimes so that the children will grow up being somewhat well-mannered and hopefully helpful in our home.
We do the same with the seeds of faith. We pray before meals and try to teach the proper times to bow or stand at Mass. We practice the Sign of the Cross. And we sing the Our Father on an evening walk.
All of us are doing our best at planting those seeds of faith to those in our lives. Whether we teach religious education or are a Godparent to a beloved child or simply showing how we live our faith to our secular coworkers, we are here to plant those seeds.
And hopefully, they’ll take root.