I'm sure if you have children you're used to hearing surprisingly insightful things come out of their mouths from time to time. I often have these "wow moments" with my sweet nephews, now ages 7 and 5. Recently the younger one left an impression on me that I can't forget about.
Both of the boys are accustomed to saying prayers before bed and before meals. The 5-year-old especially will be the first to speak up if someone takes a bite and has forgotten to ask the blessing! He prays sweet little prayers that include each family member and all of their illnesses and hurts. A few weeks ago when they were staying at our house I noticed he was still praying for God to help my mom's back 8 months after her surgery. I know it is not uncommon for him to mention us in his prayers. But I was so touched after my sister told me that when he prays aloud at home he always prays that I will have a baby.
Here's the part that gets me. I have heard that child pray dozens of times and I have never heard him say that.
I love that there is something in his 5-year-old-brain that says, "I won't mention this in front of them. I'll just keep it between me and God." When he is with us he just leaves that part out. It's like his little secret with God. I know he's never been told to do that. Obviously I would have been very touched to ever hear that prayer come out of his mouth. But I'm even more affected by his discretion. Kids aren't clueless. I know that he and his brother both recognize that they've got several cousins on their dad's side. I'm sure they've noticed that on their mom's side they are the only children. I appreciate that unlike most adults they don't feel compelled to ask us about that.
One of the many things I grieve about is that my children won't get to grow up with my sister's children. My nephews seem so big to me now, and it seems like forever ago that we had a baby in the family. I hope that my future children will develop a special relationship with their older cousins, just as I was in awe of my cousin Tony who was about 6 years older and seemed like the coolest guy I knew.
It's amazing what we can learn from a child. And I think it's pretty neat to have secrets that only God and I know.