My 11 year old boy doesn't often do much that makes me run to my keyboard to type something out. He's a Steady. He does what he knows he needs to do and keeps quiet otherwise. The boy can often be found in his room, playing with Legos, while the other two make up crazy stories about unicorns and knights and ninjas in Imaginary Land. This morning, the 11 year old built me a Lego banana to put in my breakfast smoothie.
Anyway, he visited a friend's house yesterday. They swam for a little while and played for a while longer, and then he called to ask if he could stay for dinner. I said yes and gave him a time to be home.
When he got home, I asked him how his time was at the friend's house. "Good." I asked what he had for dinner. "Chicken Alfredo." I asked if it was good. "Yep."
And then, out of the blue, he volunteered more information. (Very unlike him.)
"I prayed in my head. When it was dinner time, I prayed in my head. I didn't close my eyes; I just did it while we were eating."
I don't check up on these things as a general rule. I'll remind him that he can pray any time he wants through the day, and I ask him to chat with God at the end of the day as he's nodding off to sleep. We'll all hold hands and pray together as a family if we're out eating in public. But I can't remember ever asking him if he prayed in his head at a friend's house.
I gave him a big side hug (his preferred hugging posture) and told him that I would have done that very same thing. I told him I was glad he still wanted to pray before his dinner and that I was glad he didn't have to feel embarrassed about it.
But most of all, I'm just glad that he knew it was important enough to do, regardless of what those around him were doing.