The gift of a complicated question

Over the course of one weekend, my 6-year-old asked me two thinking cap questions.

“Is magic real?” and

“Are we rich?”

gazing

I love answering complicated questions. In fact, the conversations which follow these questions rank high on my top ten list of favorite parenting moments.

Why?

Well, obviously, I get really buzzed from the power and responsibility tied up in answering these questions.

Me?

I’m grown up enough to answer such questions?

Me?

You think I know the answers to such questions???

Me?

Are you saying my answers are the right answers?

Me?

Honey, I was hoping you had the answers.

Oh, how I am humbled by these moments, though, as much as I am empowered.

In these moments, I understand how much my answers will shape my son’s thinking.

But in these moments, I also understand how little my answers truly will shape his thinking. My answers, in the long run, will only set him thinking more.

In these moments, I am indebted to him for making me feel – even temporarily – as if I am brilliant, all-knowing, and in control. Simultaneously, though, I am in awe of the complete and utter faith a six-year-old has in his mother, and grateful for the gift he has given me — the simplicity with which I may answer.

When else in our lives are we gifted with such simplicity, such confidence, such love and respect?

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9 thoughts on “The gift of a complicated question

  1. The questions are powerful. Not simple. I think it’s a good idea to wonder (or ask them) what made them ask such questions and clarify that because clearly this is a question we can’t answer simply. Well what do I know i am not even a parent 😛

    And Jen you wrote the end beautifully… Love from a parent, partner or friend is nothing like this… Unquestioned belief in your words.

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  2. This is perfect. Tonight at dinner my 8 year old asked me something, followed quickly by questions coming at me from her two sisters. I looked at my husband and whispered. “How amazing would it be if every one thought that I was so comprehensively knowledgeable?” I do love the way they make *us* think.

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  3. Magic is real, but we can’t see all of the tricks.

    I love these questions because it is a great opportunity to bond with the kids and to really think about some things that we might not have ever considered before.

    Like

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