Today when i went to pick my daughter up from preschool……
I heard a little boy’s voice, “Why?” As the boy rounded the corner I saw that he was holding onto his father’s hand, they walked in step, physically resolute.
“It’s just a check up,” the man said, his blonde hair bobbing as he moved to angle his face down towards his son.
“But why do I have to go?” The boy pressed his father, who retained his repose.
“Even I have to go to check ups, they happen every year.” The mans voice was fatherly to the tee, higher pitched than i image his voice ever being within the office his suite and tie say he just left early from. It was restrained and ideally compassionate as it sought to satisfy the boy’s question.
However, the voice forgot what the mind knew, that no toddler may be satisfied even with the most qualified of rationalization, and the boy continued, “But why?”
And so the boy’s next few “but why’s” all met the same strained, “just because.”
The inquisitive nature of the boy i think is a testament to his ability, to his thoughtfulness, and to his relationship with his father to trust his responses, to value his authority.
The love and faith of a toddler abounds, yet is forever insatiable, and thank god because that insatiability allows the tolerance of my own three year old of my incessant exchange of ‘I love you,’ and the hugs, because i do, and i feel the quelling of maternal compassion compels me to share this refrain with her throughout our days.
I hope to take a lesson from this scene at her school & also of one of my daughter’s favorite movies, toy story 2 (the one with jessie, as she calls it): Try to enjoy every day of play, every moment of childish wonder and innocent reproach for life and to try not to project on when that will end and when she will grow tall enough and loud enough to dismiss my incessant affections. Hopefully i can remember this when I’m being woken up for the 3rd time in the middle of the night, when down the hall I hear, “Mom… Mommy? Mom!”