The Importance of Asking "Why?"

"Sometimes the person who is most logical is the person whom we call insane."
- Kevin Spacey

In conversation with Nevin, I asked him if he wanted me to come with him to supervise his class field trip.  His quick, confident response was "NO."  No?  Has my son already got to the stage where he's embarrassed of his mom around his friends?  He wants to pass up an opportunity to have an exciting day with mom?  I was so disappointed.  And then after all these assumptions and more, I breathed deep, braced myself, and calmly asked "why?"  (The calmly partook about 3 minutes and half of a Dairy Queen blizzard flavoured with self-pity).  You know what his response was?

"At the end, I will be too sad when you have to go."

He hates having to say goodbye to me, so his most logical solution was for me to never say hello.  The problem was so different than I had thought -- in fact, the exact opposite -- and it made all the difference knowing that.

Flash forward a couple weeks.  Scarlett and I are driving in the car.  Scarlett says to me, "I don't like that my name is Scarlett, I wish you named me something else."  What?  Listen hear kid: I grew you, threw up for you, birthed you, lost a lot of sleep for you, bathed you, cuddled you, and all you have to say is that you hate your name?  The very core of the identity that I've worked so hard to help you build?  Um, I'm feeling just a wee bit offended, kiddo.  After my mental tirade, I paused, promised myself I'd have an open conversation about HER feelings and asked "why?"

"Because I love that name, and I wanted to name my daughter that."

So, I don't understand my children.  I've been watching the older families around me and I don't think its going to get better.  However when I remember to remove my own assumptions from the conversation, I get to have a little peak into their world and it might not be quite as crazy as it seems.


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