His grandpa asked him what he’d like him to pray for. What a wonderful question from a grandpa to an eleven-year-old!

He thought about it, and then asked me to type this reply:

I need some hobbies so I’m not so bored during the day.

And I confess I wanted to edit his reply. Hobbies, I thought? You get this amazing request and all you want to ask for is hobbies? And what’s this about being bored? You have all these things you can do, and you’re bored?!

It reminded me of the story of the three wishes, which the man squandered on such silly, thoughtless requests that at the end of the day, his life was the same as it was before. He’d wasted the opportunity.

So I prompted a bit – Are you sure that’s what you want Grandpa to pray about? – but he insisted, so I typed his reply and emailed it off to my dad. A bit disappointed, I admit. I’d wished for a loftier response.

But Grandpa wrote back that he would be praying, and that was that.

Leaving me to think about my kids, and being a mom, and my expectations and all. And I realized (I think I already knew) that deep down, in that insecure mom-place in my heart, I want my kids to be always awesome. I want them to be always thoughtful and always thinking of others and ready to drop what they are doing to help another in need. Every. Single. Time.

I want perfect children.

And not because I think that will make them happier.

No, the truth is that I want perfect children so that I will look like a perfect mom. So that people will look at me and think, wow, she’s amazing.

Which, I most definitely am not.

I’m a good mom. Most of the time.

My kids are great kids. Most of the time.

And I don’t really want perfection. I know that. What I want is seekers, and that is what I have.

And Carter’s prayer request? How wonderful! How wonderful that he can get right to the heart of what he needs in his life, right now. How wonderful that he can assess that about himself, and not be swayed by what his mother thinks are more appropriate prayer requests. How wonderful that he knows himself that well.

Grandpa must have been praying, because the other day while I was busy crocheting, Carter asked me to teach him to knit. And I remembered the ring-knitting my oldest son used to do, so we hunted up the ring and some yarn and he sat down to knit.

And he knit and he knit and he knit.


And when he was finished, he couldn’t have been more proud. Proud of what he had accomplished, and so happy when he whispered in my ear,

Mom, I have a new hobby.

Thank you, Grandpa! Thank you, God!