Most people spend their time in the car enjoying podcasts, shuffling their favorite Amazon Music playlist, or simply savoring the sweet, sweet silence. Some drivers roll their windows down and belt out their favorite song into the wind. Others enjoy polite small talk with their passengers, occasionally.
“Most people” does not include me.
No, no. I spend 99% of my drive time fielding shockingly complex questions from my six year old (or at least what I can hear of them, over the din of my three other feral children).
“Who gave birth to God?”
“How will we know where to find each other in Heaven?”
“What is a soul made of?”
“How come numbers keep going on forever and ever?”
You never really know how dumb you actually are until you have to try and come up with an answer for a kindergartner’s philosophical musings.
My kid has always been a thinker. He’s always loved to talk and converse with others, dive deep into his little mind and get solid answers for his most burning queries. The rapid-fire questions he likes to pepper me with could sometimes be seen as a nuisance, and believe me, there have been plenty of times I’d like to pop some ear plugs in and tune out for the short drive from our house to Costco. Would it be nice to listen to an audiobook once in a blue moon? Heck yeah. What mom wouldn’t love some quiet time? Reality strikes again, though, and those simply aren’t the cards I was dealt.
Having a precocious child can be a challenge. Don’t get me wrong – his curiosity and willingness to go below the surface are two of his absolute best qualities and I wouldn’t change them for the world. At times, though, it can be a struggle to come up with age-appropriate responses for a kid who won’t just accept “I’m not sure” as an answer.
What I’ve come to realize, though, is that his natural curiosity is such a gift. Nurturing his hunger for knowledge is more important than my need for silence (most of the time!).
I’m so grateful to have a child that has a hunger for learning. This desire to know more has made him into such a charming, clever six year old boy – one you can actually enjoy a stimulating conversation with. It’s encouraged me to really examine my beliefs, and prompted me to dig for answers to questions I’ve never even thought to ask. His gift of gab ensures that we always have something to talk about, and our time together is definitely never dull. I love that his younger siblings can look at him and see that no question is a silly question, and that every moment is a learning opportunity.
So, if you have an inquisitive child too, next time they ask: “Exactly how old IS Santa?” let’s try to cherish the opportunity to turn the volume down a little bit and engage with our kids while they still think we’re cool enough to talk to.
P.S.: Santa is approximately 1,751 years old. You’re welcome.