The Blessing of a Child

On the evenings that I’m home, my routine includes bedtime prayers and blessings with my sons. My youngest son surprised me this past weekend with his unexpected response. After placing my hand upon his head and tracing the sign of the cross on his forehead, he returned the gesture by placing his hand upon my head – asking God to bless me – and then traced the sign of the cross on my forehead. Wow! At first I thought he was only mimicking me or trying to be silly – not uncommon at bedtime. But the focus in his eyes, the clarity of his words, and the sincerity of his actions proved differently.


As airmen, we know that ‘Mission First – Family Always’ has been a battle cry in our mission to fly, fight, and win. There is no specific AFI for balancing careers and kids. There are no specific GPS coordinates for navigating relationships and/or parenthood. The balance and the navigation needed here come from a different skill set.


Whether home or away from home, I pray for my family every day – and I ask God’s blessing upon them every night. You might call it a spiritual skill set. And in the process, I have both given and received the blessing of a child.


Blessings to you and yours,

Ch O


Chaplain, (Maj.) John O’Brien

115th Fighter Wing Chaplain Corps

Truax Field, Madison, WI

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