My 8-year-old, Grace, is murmuring to herself. I worry about her being an only child. I hear her after I've gone to bed, whispering in her room. She creates dramas for her dolls. Sometimes I hear her footsteps at night scurrying around the house, retrieving a doll or stuffed animal. One day she is whispering and I ask her what she's doing. "I'm playing hide-and-seek with God, Mom." I laugh and tell her, "Gracie, honey, don't you think that God can find you anywhere you hide?" She rolls her eyes, "Mom, I'm looking for God."

Laurie Capps

Annandale

Icoordinated a high school service program. I spent my days instilling messages of service and justice in my students. I have children now and tell myself they'll learn the power of generosity best through direct outreach. So I took my 4-year-old to a soup kitchen -- hoping to plant seeds of altruism, a desire to seek economic equity for all -- awaiting that profound moment of realization: One person can make a difference! "It's not fair," she said, stuffing day-old desserts in plastic bags. "These people are so lucky. They get to have doughnuts and it's not even Sunday."

Olivia Wills Kane

Arlington

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