This Thanksgiving I'm going to visit my grandson Jason. We'll have others there to share the turkey and pumpkin pie, but it's my grandson who will sit at the head of the table – grown now, a doctor, with his own home, his own family.
As the meal begins, I will look at him and see the 3-year-old who came to my home one year for Thanksgiving. Jason sought me out in the kitchen that day as I was stirring the gravy and asked if he could be the one to offer the prayer before dinner.
"What prayer will you say?" I asked.
He repeated for me the old favorite: "Thank you, God for the world so sweet. Thank you, God, for the food we eat. Thank you, God, for the birds that sing. Thank you, God, for everything."
"That would be lovely," I said.
We were all there at the table, with the bounty of the harvest spread out before us. When the steaming turkey was brought in and set before my husband, he nodded at Jason to recite his prayer.
Jason beamed. His eyes sparkled. Then he closed his eyes tightly and in his innocence did what writers and speakers are taught to do – get rid of excess words and fit the occasion.
He began, "Thank you, God, for the world so sweet." After a long hesitation, during which he searched his memory, he finished, "Thank you, God, for the bird we eat."