I generally consider myself to be a well educated, intellectually curious person; at least until I had children. I’m the type that LOVES Trivial Pursuit, but can never find anyone to play with me. I gleefully shout out the answers on Jeopardy. I read books on obscure subjects and/or people.
Confession: sometimes talking to my kids makes me feel genuinely…. stupid.
As any parent knows, kids ask endless questions. The sheer volume alone of queries is enough to overwhelm even the most patient of parents. But it’s not just the number of questions that they ask that I find daunting.
I’ll give you bedtime with #4, for example. We finish the cozy bedtime routine; washed/brushed, stories read, blankets tucked, and lights turned off. I cuddle each girl (4 and 5) in each of their beds for just a few quiet, sweet moments to end the day. In the midst of the silence, #4 pipes out:
“Mom? Who came before God?”
Not exactly a simple, “Lemme check Wikipedia.”, you know?
#4 is a deep thinker, who apparently does her deepest thinking in those twilight moments before sleep overtakes her. And as proof, here are a few choice queries that stumped me. All from TONIGHT. I kid you not.
“Why do people go on rides that make you feel like you’re gonna fall off?”
“If a shark bites you & you die, how long do you feel it?”
“What if a turtle gets flipped over on its back & no one helps him to turn back over?”
“How does your body grow hair?”
“How did the war between the Indians and the American guys start?”
“Can you slip on ice with your bare feet?”
“What would happen if you were blind on your birthday?”
When you spend your day tending to the needs of the tiny people ALL DAY LONG, questions like these make your brain want to melt.
Yet… I ponder them. I tell her honestly that most of the time, I just don’t know. Because even though I’m pretty smart, the ideas that my little girl ponders are so outside the realm of my daily thoughts that I have to pause and take time to wrap my brain around them.
And sometimes, I’m too tired to absorb any more words, -any at ALL- into my brain. I want to do the exact opposite, in fact. I want to hop into my people and do something mindless, like click a single YouTube video and find myself two hours later squinting at clips of rolling hedgehogs, wondering blankly how I plunged down the rabbit hole that is YouTube’s “recommended for you.”
Once I kiss #4’s sleepy head and leave the room, I try to remember. I try to recall what it was like to be so little that the world is still so big, so new, and so full of mysteries.
I try to remember that her innocent curiosity & her thirst to understand the world around her are fleeting qualities. Soon enough, the daily responsibilities and distractions of growing up compress those questions into the background.
LESSON LEARNED.Six Pack Mom