By Laura Mills
Me: “I have to clean the table.”
H (my daughter, age 3): “Why?”
Me: “Because there’s applesauce smeared all over it.”
Me: “Because you were finger painting with your snack.”
Me: “Because you like to make pictures.”
Me (still scrubbing): “Because that’s one of the things that’s special about you.”
Me: “Because that’s how God made you.”
Me (pause): “Because that’s what the universe needed.”
H (pause): “I go play now.”
A gold-medal parenting moment? Maybe not. But nonetheless a moment that reminded me of life’s very elusively hidden simplicity.
In the last two years or so the ups and downs of my life have marched a series of “whys” through my heart…with the response to each being just another why-inducing statement. As I continue asking “Why?,” the dissection of my life continues. Only when I pause, and I breathe away the layers of doubt and uncertainty, does the truth emerge as obvious as an applesauce fingerprint on clear glass: that everything is, indeed, as it should be.
Perhaps, then, the more correct response to every why-inducing statement over the course of each day is a bow of the head and a confident “Okay,” or an emphatic “Yes.” Or maybe, putting all trust in the unfathomable intelligence of the universe, even a joyful “I go play now” and a smile.