How did people get places before there were cars? How do dams make power? Why does it feel like the night is so short when I'm sleeping? Why did that man in a wheelchair spill his juice? How do dolphins get energy? Is grass a plant? Do we speak English or French? Why is cotton candy bad for your teeth? But WHY? What does "retreat" mean? Why do girls always want to be pretty? Why does time pass?
Oh, the questions Violet comes up with. Someday I'll try to write them down for a whole day, or at least keep a tally of how many questions she has for me. The questions above were asked in about seven minutes of driving. It can be so tempting to answer, "I don't know", "Just because", or "Because that's the way God made it!" (my personal favourite).
But this little girl is not trying to be annoying. She has questions. About virtually everything. Life, the universe, science, philosophy, etymology, linguistics, dental care, and what it means to be a girl.
The least I can do, most of the time, is to patiently answer her questions. When I reach the end of my answering abilities (usually at about 3:00 pm, when I've been at it since 7 a.m. (remember, the above list was recorded in seven minutes. SEVEN...), I ask her, "What do you think?"
Exhausting as it is, I hope this little one keeps seeking and finding answers for all the things she wonders about in her life. Tonight, I'm spending the night at my parents' house while my husband puts the kids to bed at our house. When they were leaving, I said, "Violet, who is going to answer all your questions tomorrow?" (because invariably, no matter who is in the room, all of her questions begin with, "Mom?")
She looked genuinely perplexed, and just a little bit unsettled by my question. I suggested she ask Daddy all her questions. I avoided the stink-eye he gave me as he left, with a smile of confidence that he'd find all the answers, at least for tomorrow.