“Mommy, Why?”

Mommy, why didn’t God make me an animal?

Because he wanted you to be a boy, a smart, handsome boy who will one day be a big, strong man like daddy.

Our 5 year old son has been asking all kinds of questions lately.  The infamous Whys.

Why did God make me brown?

Because brown skin is beautiful and He wanted you to have it.

Each question brings a 3 second struggle as the gears in my mind grind to find an answer appropriate for a 5 year old: short, true, encouraging and comprehensible to a growing mind.

I’m never very happy with my answers. They always seem inadequate.  But after these 2 questions I realized with delight that the questions started with, “Why did (or didn’t) God make me…” He knows that God made him!  That in itself is profound, life giving and good.  He knows that he didn’t just happen by human design.  He knows that he originated in the mind of God.  That knowledge alone is a most excellent gift.

Parenting is an awesome, overwhelming thing.  The way we answer the questions that begin to percolate up in elementary years are more important than the food we feed them.  We are helping to form their minds, their incredibly growing, complex, innocent minds and that feels weighty and huge.

About a month ago, I broached the, “Never get in the car of a stranger” talk.

When you’re playing outside, if someone stops their car and calls you over, NEVER go to their car – unless its mommy or daddy.

Why?

Because there are some bad people who will want to hurt you.

You mean they say, “Shut up?”

Oh my, the worst this beautiful mind can think of is someone who says, “Shut up.”  To him, that’s as far as evil extends.

And then I had to hide the tears forming in my eyes as I realized that the days will come when we have to tell him just how bad people can be.

He’ll start to learn history in school, ugly history, with all the wars, hatred and strife.  He’ll hear about things in the news.  He’ll see something on TV that is not rated G.  The bigger his world gets, the more ugliness he’ll see.

We’ll have to teach him that not everyone will find his brown skin beautiful and about that part of American history when boys were sold away from their mommies and forbidden to read.  He will learn about it in school, but before then we will have to think of a way to teach it redemptively at home.

And how to treat girls and how to discern danger and how to seek God in tough times.

Overwhelming.

Thankfully, most questions right now are delightfully fun.

Mom. how many stars are there?

When we go in the airplane, can we touch a star?

Why can’t we fly like the birds?

Can I be a Nascar driver when I grow up?

Lots of little discussions that make me smile and cry happy tears.

I am thankful that we have an eternal source of Wisdom from which to draw.  I can’t imagine parenting without Him.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5 NIV)

We parents need wisdom above all else.

Posted in Motherhood.

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