Two huge brown eyes looked up at me, searching for answers. I stopped stirring and put down the spoon.
“Because it is hot, and I don’t want you to get hurt.”
Acceptance. There was no drama, no bargaining or rewards. Only contentment, pure and simple.
For me, “Why?” is one of the most treasured words that Little Bean utters. I adore it because it represents her questioning, perceptive nature. But more than this, it makes me stop stirring and put down the spoon. It makes me look–strike that, it makes me FALL–headfirst into those deep, pool-like eyes and truly connect in the moment. In our moment.
“Why?” is perhaps one of the most symbolic words of childhood, one of the most representative questions of innocence. What if we choose to view our child’s questioning outlook as the gift that it is? What if we accept it as an invitation to see the world through new eyes? Because, wow, what a view we get!
We get to watch as our baby, the one we cradled and dressed in tiny booties, pieces together her own picture of the world. The answers may seem obvious to us, but each “Why?” that we answer becomes another crucial piece of her puzzle. We also get to update, recreate and polish our own picture of the world. Because no matter how much I teach Little Bean, no matter how much I show her and share with her about life, she will always, without question, teach and show me more.
There are times when I am busily racing through our daily tasks or appointments and I hear a little voice asking, “Why, Mama?” Sometimes these moments stop me in my tracks. There are times when I hear an easy-yet-empty answer run through my head, yet I cannot utter the words because I realise that they are nothing more than a prettified version of, “Because I said so.”
It is in these moments that I stop, humbled by the lesson that my toddler has inadvertently just delivered to me: why not? Why not take a moment to look Little Bean in the eye and answer her question carefully and with consideration?
Why not wear a summer hat with a winter coat? Why not take four stuffed toys along for the ride? Why not sing nursery rhymes at full volume whilst walking down the street?
Because when it comes to our children, their wants, their needs and their questions, why not just put down the spoon and stop stirring?