We let Namine wheel herself into church yesterday morning, and she could not have been happier. For most of the church service, she sat still on the floor, hands folded, and listened to pastor. She also likes to page through the hymnal, looking at the music.

I’m not sure how much she’s taking in, exactly, when she does listen to the pastor, but I don’t doubt that she’s paying attention. She certainly knows some of the doctrinal basics: she knows that Jesus is her savior; that we pray to Him and that He hears us and cares for us; that He died on the cross and rose again; that He is living in her heart.

A momentary tangent. (This is a stream of consciousness post. Bear with me.) Namine knows her heart is special. She may or may not remember her second heart surgery; I doubt that she remembers her first, since she was only two weeks old. But she does know what that vertical scar on her chest is, and she knows what her Enalapril medicine is for. She calls it her “anapril messacine,” with the vocal inflection one has when addressing a dear friend. And she knows that we love her exactly as she is, and so she loves herself.

Routine is important in a child’s day. We like to give Namine freedom, but she also needs structure. (I know there is some special terminology for this stuff, but Namine is my only education. Like I’ve said before, I’m no expert.) Part of the structure is our nighttime prayer. We have a recited prayer – not taken from another source, but one that Jessica and I have been saying, so now it has become our own family prayer. After the recited part is done, we pray for anyone who might need it – family members, friends, other special needs kids, and so on. Since Namine is so talkative, we also give her the chance to pray for whomever is on her mind. She prays for Jessica and myself, her aunts and grandparents, friends, sometimes even her therapists.