Slice of Life: Questions He Asks

Slice of Life 2011Today is my middle son’s birthday, and he has always had a very inquisitive nature (I once wrote a poem about him as a young child asking about God). Here, in no particular order, are some of the questions he has lobbed my way in the past three days.

“What if Gaddaffi bombs us?”

Here’s a question that I wish I would not be asked, but I can’t just ignore it, either. He reads the newspaper. He has some idea of the world. I tell him that Libya does not have the capability to bomb us here, and that we are participating in the no-fly zone initiative to save lives. I tell him he is safe. I am not sure if I put him at ease, though.

“Do you believe there is life somewhere other than Earth?”

I told him that I often wonder, given the size and scope of the Universe, if there might be some form of life somewhere. I don’t imagine it will be little green men, but maybe something. He agreed, and then rattled some statistics about how many adults believe versus how many kids believe (I think he heard it on the radio).

“If I get a scholarship to¬† a college for sports, but it is not the college that I want, can I turn it down?”

This still a number of years down the road, I assure him. Wow. I honestly tell him that it would be hard to say no to a free ride to college, and given our finances, it would be a difficult decision. He wants to go to LSU to play basketball. We can only hope some sort of academic and/or sports scholarships are in the cards.

“What is the meaning of life?”

I am not kidding. He asked this one morning. I was caught off-guard, but rattled on about love, peace, helping others, family and inner happiness. I sounded like a greeting card, I fear, but what could I say? That I have it figured out? I was honest, in that I don’t have it figured out.

I love this kid. He’s a fifth grader with a mind wide open.

Peace (in the questions),

  1. You have future philosopher in your house! Deep thinkers are not plentiful. Everyday must be an enigma. Thanks for sharing. Your post was different and an enjoyable read.

  2. It’s such a responsibility to be a parent, isn’t it? Those children get to us every time! I hope many are as thoughtful as you in your answers. I enjoyed the way you wrote to us about this, sounding like a father being honest, wondering if you were doing okay, “sounding like a greeting card”. Tough going sometimes. Your son is lucky to have such a dad, but you are lucky he asked you the important questions.

  3. I’ll admit, I both love and fear this post. It’s further proof that some of the tougher (hello – meaning of life?) questions are yet to come. I too love your honesty and the fact that you capture these snippets. He will certainly enjoy looking back and I’m sure he’ll be amazed by what he asked at such a young age!

  4. Kevin,
    I enjoyed hearing your sons questions as well as your answers. It reminds me of a video I just saw about encouraging kids to think creatively and to think big:

    I also appreciate your honesty with you son, a willingness to have it not all figured it out. This seems like a nice way to cultivate a relationship of mutual wondering. I hope you and your son what I have with my parents, the ability to engage in creative conflict, brainstorming and questioning together. Good fun!

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