“Why” is the word of the day around here. My love muffin’s questions are sweet and thoughtful, with her reasoning skills and contextual connections often surprising me. In an effort to take advantage of these teachable moments, I try to come up with clear and detailed answers. That’s when the why questions begin. On repeat. Over and over. There are only so many ways to rephrase an explanation differently, and none satisfy the curiosity of my three-year old. It’s a battle of wills and she usually triumphs, with me in the end trying to distract her with something new to break up the steadfast flow of the why.
Vacation Bible School definitely sparked many questions. Since its conclusion, my love has been studying her children’s picture bible very seriously. The furrowed-brow concentration of such a little person is simultaneously hilarious and precious. She rapid-fires questions at me about Jesus, the cross, and Heaven, and I do my best to keep up. A couple of days ago, it got to the point when my answers were running dry and it was time to bow out gracefully. That’s when she looked at me and said, “Well, I want you to be my mommy again in Heaven” and then gave me a big bear hug. I promised her that I would be her mommy always and forever.
As tiring as the whys can be, I’m continually intrigued by what might possibly come out of that mouth next, and the funny, clever insights into her soul and mind that I’ll catch a glimpse of. I’m so grateful to be a part of her tiny, yet complex world. During our “girl talk” she tells me all about her friends and the little dramas they have at preschool ( who yelled at who, who didn’t share her princess costume, and who said a bad word). I ask her how she feels, how she reacts in these negative situations, and then offer my advice. We practice how to use our words in case similar issues arise again.
As much as the why questions wear me down, I hope that she will always feel comfortable asking me questions and having girl talk. I pray that our conversations now will pave the way for open communication in the future. It’s frightening to think of the pressures and challenges today’s children and teens are facing. I know that it’s imperative to start building the foundation of communication and trust now, so that she will be empowered to make healthy decisions in the future. This is what I remind myself of, in those moments when I feel like I can’t answer another question or listen to another long-winded story. I envision my sweet little person as a big person, navigating the halls of middle school and the social hierarchies of high school, take a deep breath, and make the effort to stay engaged.
With all of that expended energy, easier is better when it comes to dinner. That’s one reason I love this recipe for roasted brussels sprouts and baked tofu with a honey sesame glaze. The second reason I love this recipe is that it is simply delicious! My sweet foodie and I each ate seconds and devoured the leftovers the next day for lunch. It’s the kind of food that replenishes the body and soul!