I buckled him into his highchair and put his plate in front of him, grabbing trash on the counter with my other hand. Tossing that in the trash I glanced over at him, admiring his food.
“You hungry, bud?” I asked, sitting down.
He looked at me and reached out his hand. I took it and waited, expecting him to lower his face so that I’d rub his little head. Instead, he just looked at me like I was supposed to know what he was thinking.
When I wasn’t getting it, he reached out his other hand. I took it with my other hand and he firmly held both of my hands in his, looking at me intently.
Finally it clicked: he was waiting to pray.
“Pray?” I asked.
He smiled and put his head down on my hands.
“Dear Jesus,” I said, “thank You for our food. Amen.”
He popped his head up and looked back at his plate. Time to eat.
I watched him for a minute to take it in. Thank You, Lord. At almost two, he watches and repeats what we do. But that simple little hand reach served to show he also picks up the routines and knows what to do in different circumstances.
He doesn’t understand the significance of prayer right now, or why we do it. Someday though, as we teach him little by little, he’ll know. There’s so much groundwork we can lay now, as I’m realizing. We can teach him countless things and help lead him even today, so that someday he might know and love God.
A lesson for me that day, and there was nothing sweeter than watching him hold my hands and pray. These little things… they’re the ones I cherish and keep in my heart.