Why-Kid

Xander, is a “why-kid”
The moment he is told to get out of bed in the morning, he asks his mother,
“Why?”
She gives him sunshine-filled answers and kissing his forehead like a drop of morning dew
“Why?”, Xander asks as he’s told to put on his clothes
And eat breakfast
And get in the car
He’s three years old and full of curiosity
Little Xander wants to know everything
Like
“Why are those trucks so big?
Why is it time to clean up?
Why is there no school tomorrow?
Why are the name-tags blue?
Why do we roll up our sleeves when we wash our hands?
Why are we eating pretzels for snack?”
Xander
Is a “why-kid”
His why-asking is met with calm understanding because he is three
And he is learning things
So
“Those trucks are so big because they have big jobs to do
And it’s time to clean up so we can go sit at group
There’s no school tomorrow because today is Friday and Friday is the 5th day of the school week!
Our name tags are blue so everyone can see how cool we are
We wouldn’t want our sleeves getting wet so we hide them up our arms while we wash our hands and get ready to eat pretzels for snack
And I’m sorry, kid, but we ran out of animal crackers so pretzels are all we’ve got”
Xander
Is a “why-kid”
His why-asking is met with explanation and turned into a teachable moment
But I’ve found that when you’re 20 years his senior
People already expect you to know things
Like how Xander already thinks that I know things
And when he asks me why some markers work and some markers don’t
I can’t help but see my own reflection in his eyes
I’ve stared in bent mirrors before
I’ve asked too many questions and only gotten some answers
I haven’t figured it all out yet
But I know I want to answer him the best I can
So I tell him
“Sometimes
People give up on being full of ink so they let themselves bleed until there’s nothing left
Like those markers that just can’t color anymore
Xander
Sometimes people get overused and they run out and I still don’t know why”
You see
Like Xander
I’m still constantly asking,
“Why?”
Why is time so dependent on what’s filling it?
Why are some people okay with leaving things unresolved?
Why can’t I sleep when I’m so tired?
Why does this child think I’m going to be able to provide him with everything he’s ever wondered?
Why haven’t I learned to keep my room clean or fold my laundry right away or make my lunch the night before?
Why does it seem like I have so much growing up to do when I feel more grown up than half the people my age?
Why?
Why?
Why am I a fucking “why-kid”?
Why haven’t I learned to stop needing so much?
Why can’t I figure it out myself?
Why can I picture Xander, at 23 years old, not wanting to askĀ “why?” anymore?
And why does that break my heart?
“Why-kids” are wonderers
We search for reasons
Excuses
And solutions
We long for concrete proof
Truth
And explanations
When Xander asks
Why?
And someone replies
Because
I cringe
Why would they think that a one-word answer is enough to subdue the longing for explanations?
Why would they think it’s okay to stifle his curious mind like that?
I have known the emptiness of unanswered questions
I have felt confusion take ahold of my brain and twist my thoughts into loops that just keep going
And going
Why
Why
Why do people like Xander and me want to know so many things?
Why is one result never enough?
Why can’t my questions come with sunshine-filled answers and kisses like morning dew drops?
Why have people stopped answering me?
Xander
Is a “why-kid”
And so am I
But so many of my why’s are dismissed by moonlit kisses pretending to be stars
And I will never be that false hope for somebody
So maybe that’s why Xander keeps asking me
Because he knows I realize how important it is to know why.

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