Thursday, May 15, 2014

The power of "why?"

Lily has entered the land of why? how? what? and there is no going back to life as we knew it before. The questioning stage, is, in my mind, so powerful. It marks the verbal beginning of curiosity; the desire to know about the world, and, even more, to make sense of the world. It does do my heart good to hear Lily question things, and ask why things work the way the do. It does. Truly.

At least that is what I keep telling myself.

Here is the truth about why:

Why is a lot of circular questions that I can't answer. Why is..."but why do I have to wash my hands?..."but why are you going to the bathroom?"..."but why do you need to cook dinner?"

Why ends with an answer to an entirely different question than it started with. It goes from "why?" to "how?"...and if you thought why was hard, how is worse.

Here is a sample of a why conversation:

Me: Lily, today we are going to Campbell's First Holy Communion. Do you know what that is?
Lily: No.
Me: Well, it's when children who are old enough, receive the body of Christ for the first time.
Lily: Ok. What we do?
Me: Well, we will go to church and watch. We have to be quiet at church.
Lily: Why?
Me: Because people pray at church, and it is nice to be quiet, so they aren't distracted from the Mass.
Lily: Why?
Me: Because it's polite.
Lily: Why?
Me: It's just nice manners, Lily. We will sing, too. And listen to Bible stories. And mommy will get Communion and you will get blessed.
Lily: Why?
Me: Because you aren't old enough to receive Communion yet Lily.
Lily: What's Communion?
Me: The Body of Christ.
Lily: How?
Me: Do you want me to explain Transubstantiation?
Lily: Yes.

This was a real conversation. I am so happy that she is curious about her world. That she wants to engage those around her in conversation and learn.

I will also be happy when I can ask her "why?" and she can start to tell me.

1 comment:

  1. Haha. You may not want to know her answer for why later.

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