Lately, life has been throwing a million questions at me. Big things and little things. Questions that make my mind spin and my heart ache. Always so many questions!! As this battle is waging in my head, I'm also surrounded by the hundreds of thousands of questions from a four year old.
Hers are not so complicated. Hers are simple. Her answers even easier. This is still an age where I can make something up instead of saying "I don't know." Which is important because "I don't know" is not an acceptable answer for a four year old.
There is always noise. My house is full and happy, which means lots of talking and giggles. Sometimes it overwhelms me and I just wish there would be five small minutes where NO ONE asked me for anything.
But I realize at the same time that I truly don't want that to happen. I know that one day, probably not too far away, I won't get all these questions. One day, these kids will find all their answers on their own. They may ask me occasionally, but it will never compare to where I am right now. Already Macboy has dramatically decreased his number of questions. Some of the remaining are about new video games or cool things he wants to get. "When can we go shopping,Mom?" Others are deep and profound and leave me speechless. Art is nearing the 'pre-teen' status and his questions are easy too. Not always easy to hear, but definitely easy to answer.
As I was reading Angel Baby's bedtime story last night, she stopped me in all the same places to ask all the same questions as we've had every single time we've read that story. Just as I opened my mouth to say "You ask me that every time!" I paused. I want her to ask me questions. I want her to be curious about her whole world and want to learn and explore everything she can. So, I answered the same question with the same answer. Again. And I will probably have to answer the same question again tonight.
I gave myself a knew perspective. She is not asking me because she doesn't know the answer. I'm not always sure WHY she asks. But I give her a consistent answer. I give her faith that I'm not going to change my mind. That thing on that guy's head is ALWAYS going to be a hat. What? A red hat, yes.
When you are four, you are scared of things that change. In two months, I will be preparing her for her first day of school and she will know that the guy in the story is still wearing the same red hat when she comes home. She knows that some things are real and consistent. Even when you have to leave your comforts and go somewhere new.
As she grows she will know, just as my boys do, that there really are NEVER any stupid questions. If you are unsure of something, ask. My boys test my limits often, but they know that even if I am angry, they can ask me their questions. Now that the boys are older, I can honestly tell them when I don't know something. And, I always make a point to find the answers to their questions.
I don't play games, I am honest. I don't hold back information just because they didn't ask a specific enough question. I tell them the truth and trust that they will take in what they are ready to take in.
Angel Baby will learn that it is always okay to ask a question. And she is learning that it's okay to ask more than once if you are unsure. She is learning that I will not judge her or ignore her. She is learning to trust me.
That's something I think we tend to forget as parents. Sure, I am teaching her the names and purposes of things around her. I teach her how to count and what her letters are. I teach her to draw and color. Soon I will be teaching her to read and write and create. But while I am spending my time teaching these everyday things, the value of each lesson goes far beyond what is in front of us.
I give my kids comfort and security. I give them a forever friend and unconditional love. In return, I get so, so much more.
So take a deep breath, my friends. When those questions seem unceasing, and you want to run away screaming, remember that you have an opportunity to teach something so much bigger. You are helping them understand their own universe.
Thank you for stopping by, it's always nice to have visitors. Please, share with your loved ones if you feel moved to do so. I write for myself, but gain fresh perspective from knowing that I am not alone in this world. I appreciate every single one of you who stops by to say hello. And even those who say nothing. You are here, that's what counts.