Kristy provides support for pregnant and laboring mothers and for transitioning families after the birth of their baby.See all posts »
The BIG Question, Asked by a Child
The right question can be life altering. Those are usually the kinds of questions posed to us by an elder, a preacher, a guru, a teacher, or a parent. Since I have had children I have found my greatest teachers are not those who have ‘been there, done that’ or those high up in power, fame or prestige. No, the greatest wisdom I have found has come from my children; so innocent and pure, inquisitive and curious and brutally honest. They seem to be wise beyond their years and very intuitive.
I stood in my kitchen the other morning preparing my 7-year-old son’s lunch for school. The baby sat on the floor next to me playing with wooden spoons and Tupperware. My 3-year-old son sat up at the breakfast bar on a wooden stool singing a song. He stopped singing, looked at me and asked “Mama, where did we come from?” My stomach dropped for a moment. Was this really a conversation for this early in the morning and for a 3-year-old to be asking? What a big question. How does a 3-year-old come up with something so deep?
I thought of every possible answer I could in a matter of five seconds, which seemed like an hour. I decided to answer by asking a question of my own (even though I've always disliked when people did that). I needed to make sure that this was in fact the question he was asking. Once we had established that it really was, I started to dig down deep into my birthing bag of wisdom and find an answer that wouldn't be too involved or complicated. An answer that would satisfy his curiosity without provoking more questioning from him. Really 7:30 is too early to formulate intelligent thought.
I began with "Remember how you were in Mama's belly, just like your baby brother?" Following his 'yes', I proceeded onto "well God helped to put you there." Then I remembered how I have always told them that even before they were in my belly they had chosen me and Papa. I needed to back track to include that story and elaborate on God's help. Then I thought that I should include something about how babies are created and about Papa and Mama's love. Oh, but how much information do I give there? As I fumbled over my words and gave more information than needed, he stopped me. "No, no Mama," he said. "Where do we come from, you know." We both paused, looking at each other. I was a hot sweaty mess in a matter of five minutes and now completely perplexed.
He thought for a bit then he leaned over and looked me straight in the eye so that I wouldn't misunderstand him and said, "New York, right Mama?"
"Oh. Uh, yes honey... we are originally from New York". Gulp.