Questions & Answers

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I want to be the kind of parent that always answers truthfully; that when questions arise, I take the time to pause and explain why and how and when.

I long to pull my children’s cheeks to the side of my thigh and tussle their unruly curls as they ask aloud; to catch them wondering under their breath, to laugh out loud when the make up their own jokes and tell them over and over and over, to observe them as they take in life and soak it into their spongy spirits, to see them gaze wide-eyed at the sky, then tilt- their eyes meeting mine for answers.

Recent observations and self-appointed answers from the mouths of four and two-year old babes living in our house:

Mom, the moon turned its light out!

After giving my youngest a haircut, he emphatically looks at the fallen curls and demands, “Put that hair back on my head!”

When applauding my oldest for choosing a great attitude when leaving a birthday party a wee early {and his favorite friends} because his brother was on the verge of World War 3 melt-down, and at the same time admitting I understood his frustration and would have loved him even if he’d  had a horrible attitude, he responds, “And I love you even though you wear me out!”

We like it when you play with us.

Epic fails at attempted naps: But my eyes just won’t close!

And the questions:

How does God fit in my heart?

Why did Wylan’s grandpa die?

How come you yelled? {Gulp of conviction!}

Are the monsters coming?

Over parfait snacks, my oldest reflects his heart to be known, “Mom, ask me questions.”

So questions I will ask. Answers I will provide, but always, yes, always, I want to ask back their thoughts and their opinions. I want to be a mom that is curious about how my sons see life. For now, I have the opportunity to provide answers, but even still, I’m pushing them to think for themselves; to come up with creative explanations and endings to make-believe stories, to give words to why people are mean, to show me how to dance to “This Girl Is On Fire” and to claim their young dreams of when I grow up…

Because I want sons that think for themselves. That grasp for the stars. And have compassion for all. But mostly, I want sons that seek God’s answers above my own. My answers are the best I can offer; with pure motives and vulnerable truths, but they are very human and very one-dimensional. My prayer is to constantly point my boys back to God’s Truth to discover soul-quenching grace, redemption, and forgiveness {not to mention some pretty cool stories about “bad guys!”} Providing their answers, thinking for them, and finishing their sentences will not benefit them in the long-run. As they mature, I’ll be able to respond to their question – not with my answer – but with another question: what do you think God is telling you?

As I wrote the following articles for HomeFront, I reflected on the gift my mom gave in encouraging me to “look it up.”

You can read The Everyday Parent and Look It Up HERE.

EverydayParent

As you go about your day, don’t only give answers, but take intentional time to ask your children about their thoughts and opinions. I’m continually amazed at the simplistic faith and witty explanations of kids! We can easily miss out on the best stories ever told because we forget to ask!

A child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer. ~Author Unknown

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