Oh God, ever-present and ever-loving
Be near to our little ones
As they venture out
Into the wide world.
May their first steps be confident,
Their first interactions pleasant,
Their first impressions positive,
Their first lessons lasting.
We have tried to raise them well, to teach them to be
And to instill in them their belovedness
And by us.
Bless us with wisdom to parent them well in this new season,
Neither hovering nor disconnected;
Attuned, but acknowledging and encouraging their emerging selves;
Gentle, caring, and patient always.
We ask you to bless and keep them
To protect them from harm
To keep them from temptation,
And rescue them from evil.
Be a friend to them, present and accessible.
We entrust them to you in the hours that they are out of our care,
The same as we entrust them to you when they are with us.
Again and again, we entrust them to you.
Their whole lives long and beyond, we entrust them to you.