December 9 11

My kids never fail to ask me questions. They want to know everything. EVERYTHING. And while this is one of the hardest parts about being a mom, and sometimes I wonder why they can’t be more like some of their non-inquisitive friends—the ones who happily do what they are told, the ones who happily will play with dolls and lego, the ones who don’t even notice when they stumble across something they don’t understand—it really is one of the most wonderful parts about being my kids’ mama.

Just this week, we had lengthy discussions about what a Christening is, how in-vitro fertilization works and what a Jehovah’s Witness is.

Dinner conversation in our house. 

I tell you about these specifically because if I simply write that my children ask a lot of questions, you may be quick to jump in with a quick and hearty me too, even though your dinner conversation may not have involved a detailed conversation about whether or not it actually did rain for 40 days and 40 nights and what it means if you do believe that it happened and what it means if you don’t believe that it actually happened. Interestingly, one of my children mentioned that he (or she!) believed that the actually flooding and whole collecting of animals in a two-by-two fashion hoopla did not happen, but the story was written to help teach us important life lessons and about what kind of people we should be.

Oh my heavenly days, my kids are kind of amazing.

(That heavenly pun was completely unintentional, I swear.)

I have always kind of secretly hoped that my kids would be this way. And I’d like to this, at least a little bit, that I had something to do with their constant desires to ask and learn and understand and think. You see, while I want to protect my children from the harsh realities of the world, because, there are, indeed lots of shitty things out there, I still want them to learn about the world. This is a really tough position to be in, as a parent. In one moment you want to scoop all three of them up in your arms and bottle them as they are now, not allowing them to grow any older and any more independent. But then in the next moment, you want to set them free to grow their own wings and explore the universe through these three unique pairs of brown eyes; free thinkers.

It makes sense, really. This is exactly how I grew up.

I want both. Protection and independence.

Last year I took Emily to see a performance of Spring Awakening. And I don’t regret it, not even for a minute. Not even after three people who worked at the theater asked me if I knew what the play was about and if I was sure I was okay with my child seeing it. Not even after many theater patrons gave me some serious stink eye.

YES. I had seen the play. YES. I knew what it was about. YES. I was aware of the parental guidance suggested content.

That’s why I was there.

Parental guidance, you see.

She is going to ask questions about things. She is going to learn about things. She is going to see things.

And I sure as heck want her to ask her questions and learn about important things and see everything with me there. I want to be a part of it.

And interestingly, she asked exactly one question after seeing Spring Awakening, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the objectionable content.

“Mama, do you think one day Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele will ever play Melchior and Wendla again?”

She saw the performances, she heard the music, she watched the dancing.

She didn’t even notice anything else.

I’m just glad she didn’t notice the stink eyes from all the people around us, judging me so harshly.

Because you know what? I’m pretty sure I’m doing something right.

I wonder what kind of questions she’ll ask about vampireslashhuman babies and werewolves imprinting on babies…

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  1. Hats off to you for doing what you know is right for your kids and ignoring the judgement.

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    Comment by Chris on December 9, 2011
  2. You are a GREAT Mom. I’ve seen you in action.

    And we talk about quite the array of topics too, and I love it.

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    Comment by Angella on December 9, 2011
  3. I have this theory that what your parents do for a living greatly influences dinner time talk. I discovered this when I was eating dinner with my college boyfriend’s family and realized that while I was enjoying pot roast, his family was calmly discussing someone’s (patient remained unnamed) labor and delivery in graphic detail – his Dad was an OB/GYN. I was…taken aback. But then when he had dinner with my family and we discussed the ins & outs of a particular military battle he informed me my family was just as weird. So, my point is: internet savvy mama leads to all sorts of awesome dinner time discussions.

    [Reply]

    ali replied on

    It’s interesting that you say that because my dad IS an obgyn…so our dinner conversations were very, um, interesting. Heh. :)

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    Comment by Daisy on December 9, 2011
  4. Your kids are amazing! And you have A LOT to do with that!

    Also, I think it is way weirder that I went to see Spring Awakening with my mom as an adult because that was AWKWARD! Also, jealous you saw Lea Michele in the role!

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    Comment by Kristabella on December 9, 2011
  5. I love the kind of mama you are.

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    Comment by Alex on December 9, 2011
  6. Interesting. I have dreams of my kids having these conversations one day. I worry though, that I don’t have enough knowledge myself to spark these interesting conversations or won’t be able to answer their questions when they come up. There are many things I CAN talk extensively about… I just hope those are the things my kids will bring up!!
    I have no idea what Spring Awakening is, but I am a firm believer in doing what you (the parent) feels is best. So I’m glad you ignored the stink eyes and let her watch anyways.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Amy on December 9, 2011
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