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Why, Indeed

Maddie entered the “why” phase
a few months ago, but Brian swears she has gotten significantly
worse – er, more intense – over the past few weeks.
Thankfully we haven’t hit too many of those really difficult
“why” questions, like, “Why is the sky blue? Why
is Daddy a boy?” but even the ones we can answer are

I try hard to follow her “why” lines of questioning all
the way to a satisfactory end, but they’re often thrown in
with several other tasks simultaneously and I have to confess my
patience runs thin. When I’m trying to wrestle a screaming
Cora into her clothes for the day, discussing it calmly with Maddie
isn’t always at the top of my “fun” list.

“Why is Cora crying?”
“Because she doesn’t want to get dressed.”
“Why?” “I’m not sure; maybe she
doesn’t like feeling cold when her clothes come off.”
“Why?” “Well, most of us don’t like being
cold, do we?” “Why?” “I think just because
being cold makes us uncomfortable, and we’d rather be nice
and snug and warm.” “Why?”


I know Maddie isn’t doing it to be annoying; she honestly
wants to know the answer to things and struggles to understand
everything she encounters in her daily life. So I work hard at
being sympathetic and patient and if I can stick it out until she
understands what she wants to understand, my girl is happy and can
walk away. Trouble is, I don’t always stick it out so well.

Madeleine knows she’s in the midst of this phase, too; just a
couple days ago she said out of the blue, “I say
‘why’ a lot, Mommy.”

Delighted with the chance that this might bring this phase to a
close, I said, “Yes, honey, you do; why do you think that is?
Do you like to say the word ‘why’, or do you want to
understand how things come about?”

Maddie thought for a while and said firmly, “Both.” A
pause, then -

“Why is that, Mommy?”


Sometimes her line of questioning is cute; sometimes it’s
surprising, and takes me down a road of inquiry I’d be
interested in myself; and sometimes it’s incredibly
uncomfortable since I don’t have the answers she’s

Just yesterday Maddie announced at the dinner table, “I want
God to come.”

To which I fervently replied, “Oh, honey, I do too.”
(Preferably before I have to do the laundry again.)

“How can I make God come here, Mommy?”


So we talked about how He’s all around us, in our hearts, and
so forth, but Maddie wouldn’t be put off – she wanted
God in her living room, pronto. She thinks He’s so cool she
wants to talk to Him and play with Him, and so suggested we pray to
Him and ask Him to come.

At this point we were wading into incredibly deep theological
waters and I found myself barely able to explain things

“Ok, honey, let’s pray and ask God to come. Just
remember that while God always answers our prayers, the answer
isn’t always ‘yes’; sometimes it’s
‘no’ and sometimes it’s ‘not yet’.


“Well, because sometimes what we ask for isn’t
what’s best for us, so God has to tell us

“Why would it be bad for me to ask God to come?”

“It wouldn’t.”

“Then why would He say no?”

“We can’t always know God’s reasons,


Can you take Valium while nursing?


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