Recently I was reading a blog post by Kelle Hampton where she was answering her five-year old daughter’s questions about death. The post got me thinking about the questions that kids are known to ask. I’ve heard many a parents mention how their child asks never ending questions about everything from the important to the miniscule, curious to learn how the world around them works.
I was touched by Kelle’s thoughtfulness in answering her daughter’s question. But I was also heavy-hearted. My thoughts, as always, turned to Champion and I began, as I have been lately, to wonder what questions he may have. He is now three and beginning to explore more of the world around him. We recently got him a wheelchair van and for the first time he’s able to look out the window as we drive. I catch him looking in awe at the cars zooming by, the buildings coming in and out of view, the trees lining the street.
I wonder what he’s thinking. What questions does he want to ask? What answers does he want me to give him? What does think about trees? Does he wonder what flowers are? Does he wonder how tv works? Does he wonder why there are different colors? What does he think about Daddy leaving to go to work? Does he wonder what work is? Have I done a good job answering the questions I think he has?
It breaks my heart to not know. Even more to think of the deeper questions he may have. Does he wonder why he is not yet walking on his own? Does he wonder why others form words and speak so freely and why it takes him a concerted amount of effort to utter a few words? What things scare him that he needs me to reassure him about? Does he wonder why he’s different? Is he happy? Does he really really know how much we love him?
As he grows older and as life happens, I wonder what questions I should be answering for him. I don’t want to answer questions to soon, before he is thinking them, but I don’t want to leave him with unasked unanswered questions either.
And so I pray. And I cry. And I hope that I will know what to say to him. What things to teach him. What answers to give him. I pray that I will know, as we wait for more words to come, what he needs reassuring in. What he needs comfort in. I pray that I will know what hard questions he may be asking and I pray even more that I will have the words to answer them, whether I know the answer or not, I pray that I can provide him with the dialogue he needs.
I would love to hear from you. If you have kids, nieces, nephews, and they are talkers, what questions do they have in their toddler years? If you are around kids who are non or semi verbal what strategies have you used to answer the unasked questions?
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