encounters with toddlers


his attention is all over the place, this being his first camping trip and his age being two, so we had to teach him to slow down and watch long enough to see the fireflies. but eventually, he and i are laying on our bellies in the grass, looking into the nearby grasses and trees to see the little flickers of light. “ooo! i saw one! i saw another one!” he exclaims. this holds his attention for a remarkable period of time. later, when the precious moment has passed, he excitedly announces to his parents, out of the blue, ” i saw sparklies with auntie brooke!” one of those magical, stick-in-your-memory moments.


i am watching her response, standing in a room with these familiar grown-ups whom she all knows by name, but from which her “dada” has momentarily exited for a bathroom break. she is disoriented, concerned, suddenly shy and reluctant to speak. she keeps saying, “dada? dada? dada come?”. but the moment he re-enters the room she is all smiles and confidence once more. it is not even that she needs to be standing right next to him, only that she needs to know he’s in the room… and then she is adventurous and bold once more.  i think how very much likewise it is with me and my Father. when i know that He is near, i walk with more confidence, speak more clearly, rest more fully.


same little girl, at the same get-together, at which we are praying. it is our turn to be prayed for by our friends. and she, listening to her mother’s prayer, latches onto one phrase: “much life,” which she then repeats over and over again, even after a long lapse, as though it is important. and i sense that even though she is not even two years old, that she is praying. and the purity of the prayer of  toddler for “much life” is probably very likely to be heard and answered by our Father. i tell her, “thank you for praying for us.” she nods, says, “yup.”


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