The “P” Word by Julie Filby


One morning last fall, Vaughn woke up complaining that her neck hurt. That was a new one.

Diagnosing our 3-year-old daughter generally requires a little detective work to determine if something is really wrong, or if she’s simply displaying her passionate side (she’s been known to be a touch dramatic from time to time).

She didn’t have a fever or any other symptoms. She got kisses (from both Mom and Dad, usually one or the other works), still not happy. I put a band-aid on it, didn’t work. I even offered to take her for donuts after Mass. Still howling.

All signs pointed to her actually not feeling well. I gave her Motrin and got her all set up in the car with just the right blanket and babies and we headed out to take Quinn to school.

In the car on the way, I explained to Quinn that if Vaughn and I didn’t make it to Mass (the all-school Mass on Friday morning), he would know why: Vaughn wasn’t feeling well. Quinn responded with wisdom and insight…

Quinn: Mom, you know what she needs.

Mom: What?

Quinn: You should know this, Mommy.

Mom: Oh, I do. I just want to know what you think.

Quinn: It’s a “p” word.

Mom: Program? {{like many kids: TV programs are good way for re-directing Vaughn when she’s unhappy}}

Quinn: Mommy! P-p-uh…… p-p-p-uh…… pr-pr-pruh.

Mom: Prayer?

Quinn: Mom, you should’ve known that.

Mom: You’re right, buddy.

I’m so glad I have a 6-year-old around to remind me to give these things to God.

The Bible says: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6). Telling a mother not to worry can be a stretch but making prayer the first choice, versus the last resort, helps immensely. It’s the best course of action, the best stress reliever, the best coping mechanism.

By the way, Vaughn was fine. She had cheered up during the drive, the neck-ache seemed to disappear and we did end up at Mass presenting our requests to God with thanksgiving.

I WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS: What are you worrying about that you could give up to God?

Copyright 2010 Julie Filby


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  1. I’m in charge of the Hospitality Committee of the Parents’ Club and I’m worried that I’m not going to do a good job.

  2. Kids have a great way of keeping things in perspective. Their little minds aren’t cluttered with so many “grown-up” worries, distractions and stresses. We as adults have so much to learn from them, but we must remember to take the time to listen. Thanks Julie for your insightful words, I enjoy reading your column!

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