Friday, February 17, 2012
Questions, questions and more questions
The average 4 year old asks about 400 questions a day. I think in Ella’s case it would be easy to add a zero to the end of that number. That girl asks a TON of questions! And each question she asks spurs on about 25 more questions. It's obvious that she's soaking in every ounce of information she can.
Lately the questions have taken on a new level, and most of the time I don’t know how to answer them.
I get a lot of questions about why Ella has boo boos but her friends don’t. While watching commercials she’ll ask me why the kids on TV don’t have covers like she does. My standard answer is that God gave her special skin. She then goes into a long conversation about how God chose her to do important things and how she is a gift that God gave mommy and daddy.
The other day Ella and I talked to my dad on the phone. When we hung up the phone it was obvious the little wheels in her head were turning. She looked at me and said, “Mommy…GiGi is your mommy and Paw Paw is your daddy. Grammy is daddy’s mommy, but (said with a very concerned face and voice) daddy doesn’t have a daddy.” That was NOT something I was prepared for. It was obvious that this really upset her. She loves her daddy and the thought of her daddy not having a daddy was very sad. We had a long conversation about how daddy’s daddy, Grandpa Bill, is in heaven. Of course that lead to more questions about heaven and how Jesus lives there, and where heaven is located.
A few days later we were sitting down to play the piano. Ella requested “Jesus Loves Me” then looked at me with those big blue eyes and said, “Mom, Jesus lives in heaven, right?” “Yes,” I responded. “Then how does He see us? If He’s in heaven, how does He know what we’re doing?” I answered it the best way I could and told her that even though Jesus is in heaven, he still looks down and knows what we’re doing and helps us.
Ugh. These are getting harder by the day.
Sunday morning some friends of ours got baptized at church. Ella was very curious about this whole process. Obviously she is not a fan of bath tubs, so the thought of someone going into a “big bath tub” in front of the church was very strange to her. She asked a lot of questions about why they were getting baptized and what it means. Joe and I tried to explain it to her the best we could that our friends asked Jesus into their hearts and promised to live their lives for Him. After you make that decision, it’s important to get baptized. Usually Ella colors during the sermon, but I swear this week she was listening to everything Pastor Don said about getting baptized. After church she said, “Daddy, you and mommy haven’t been baptized.” It was a great opportunity to tell her about how we each made the decision to live for Jesus and got baptized. She then looked at us and said, “But I don’t have to get baptized.” Joe and I explained to her that it was her decision when to get baptized. When she felt like it was time and God wanted her to do it, then she would get baptized too. But none of that would happen until she was ready. She liked that answer…she likes being in control.
Add on top of all those questions, the death of Melissa, and we had a whole slew of new questions. She’s very interested in why people go to heaven. At first I would tell her that Melissa, just like Grandpa Bill, was sick. Her body was very, very sick, so Jesus asked her to come live with Him in heaven. Then…Joe got sick. It was just a very minor stomach bug that only lasted a couple of days, but Ella was concerned that her daddy was going to go to heaven too. I tried to explain that Melissa and Grandpa Bill were very sick and weren’t getting better, but daddy was getting better and he would be ok. I dread the future of this discussion. The older Ella gets the more and more people she's going to know who die...some will be friends. I dread that day. How do I explain to my sweet little girl that her friend died because she had the same disease Ella is fighting?
All of this to say, it has been reaffirmed that I don’t know what in the heck I’m doing with this parenting thing. I fake it the best way I know how, but I am at a loss with most of these questions.