Posts Tagged ‘Children Asking Why’

Why Remains Suspended

Have  you heard Libby Kirkpatrick’s song To A Child? If you haven’t, please go download your 99 cent copy off of iTunes right now!  Better yet, go get yourself a copy of her entire album Goodnight Venus. Really. You’re missing out on a melodic, lyrical genius if you haven’t fully discovered her yet.

Libby is one of my closest friends in Austin. She joined me on the Sweet Songs project, contributing two brilliant songs.  I’m listening to her music a lot this week in my head yearning for her return from Boston where she’s been spending the summer with her family.

The past few days I’ve been lingering on her lyric “There is no answer to why — why remains suspended….” in To A Child.  I have floated in and out of my share of existential Why’s most of my adult life. Only within the last few years have I learned to stop myself and change the question. Because most of the time when I’m asking a Why question, it doesn’t take me anywhere useful mentally.

On the other hand, the Why’s for a developing mind are a critical part of learning and growing and remaining curious about this strange life we all live.  I hope to encourage my girls’ comfort in asking, “Why?” throughout their childhoods — and when they’re older and start to ask questions like,”Why can’t I figure this out?” or  “Why doesn’t he like me?” I’ll need to get creative and gently guide them to try asking a different question.  Like, “What information am I missing that could help me understand this better?”  and “What’s important to me in a relationship?” or “What do I stand for that is different than what he or she stands for?”

For now, I can enjoy the sweet innocence in the Why’s that come from my 3, almost 4 year-old. Rarely easy questions though. Some recent keep-me-on-my-feet Why moments from her:


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