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The first prayer of each and every day is a statement of gratitude.  Thank G-d I am still alive.  It is a little bit an answer to “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the L-rd my soul to keep…”

The blessing is so simple, and in fact written quite eloquently, without the mention of G-d’s name.  Why?  So that you can recite as soon as you open your eyes before you do even get out of bed.

When I pick up my son from his crib, as he gazes up at me with his beautiful bright eyes, I sing to him, Modeh Ani.  I am grateful, not only for my soul, but also for his.  I am grateful that G-d has granted me another day of parenting, of trying to figure it out. 

I could have had a rough night, my son could have woken up every hour, but in the light of the new day, I still sing to him Modeh Ani. 

Chana-Esther Dayan

Chana-Esther Dayan lives in Ottawa, Canada, with her husband of five years. She is learning to integrate her Jewish faith in her daily living in a mixed marriage. Since there are no real rules, Hannah and her husband are learning as they go.