The Secret of Youth


It does not get any better than this – seven days of tag-teaming our very active four-year old grandson, Alex.
Tag teaming because both my husband and I are in our mid-50’s. Tag teaming because this boy has more energy than the two of us put together. Tag teaming because it takes two of us to answer the inquisitiveness put forth on a variety of subjects. In other words, he wore us down with all of his “why” questions …on everything he saw that didn’t make sense in his four-year old world, on every direction we issued.
Why does the pool have to close? Because it became dirty with the rain. Why did it become dirty with the rain? Because when the rain fell from the sky it came down with little germs. Why did it come down with germs in it? Because it went through dirty clouds, the water became “germy” and when it went into the pool the pool water became dirty. Why did it go through dirty clouds?
I am ashamed to say after ten minutes of this give and take, I told him to go ask the pool director…which he promptly did. “Excuse me lady, (kudos to my daughter for her lessons on manner), why is the pool closed?” To which the kind pool director iterated my explanation that there were germs in it. To which he once again asked, “Why are there germs in it”? Smiling, I watched another adult struggle with the simple-minded thought processes of a four-year old mind. No answer was good enough; each answer was queried with another “why” question. It wasn’t until Alex asked her “why don’t you put a cover on the pool so when it rains germs don’t get in the pool” that she looked at me and said, “This boy is going to go far in life”.
Which prompted another round of “why “? “Why am I going to go far grandma?” “Why did she say that Papa?”
As the song goes…”and the beat goes on” … the Why-Boy, as we affectionately call our grandson, was once again the Grand Inquisitor and we were trying mightily to be his all-knowing grandparents.
Later in the evening, when Alex was sleeping soundly and we had a moment to ourselves, we wondered when it happened that the two of us had quit asking questions and just accepted what we saw matter-of-factly. Google, Bing, Ask…all are great websites to go to for answers when needed…but as adults we had lost the desire to ask questions. Don’t get me wrong, I can still rant and rave when things don’t go my way, asking that all-encompassing neurotic question of, “why me Lord”? But for the most part, I take life as it comes and don’t wonder anymore about why cows say moo, why ants like to dig, or why fireflies light up. They just do.
Are we too busy? Too lazy? Too disinterested? Too afraid of the answers? Or have we become numb to the world? Do we turn off the alarm, go about life in remote control, and then, when the day is done, just go to bed and turn on the alarm once again so we wake on time to begin another day? When did our life, we asked each other, become so monotonous that we lost the desire to questions.
That is why our WhyBoy is good for us, at this age, with our energy as low as it is sometimes. He makes us think. He makes us look at the world with new insight. He asks the questions all of us should ask, but seldom do. Why did God make this? Why did God let that rabbit die in the road? Why did He make leaves green and not blue? Why does the sun shine when it is raining? And there is my favorite… why did God make me?
Why indeed did He make us? Why are we handed this imperfect often-times messy slice of time called Life? Each one of us needs to discover for ourselves as to why God made us. For me the answer comes easy. He gave me family, faith, and friends to share space in this world with… to laugh with, to cry with, and to hopefully grow old with because of one reason and one reason only.
God loves me! It is as simple as that.

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About Carol Bannon

Member of iCatholic community, Catholic Writers Guild, married with 4 children. Author of A Handshake From Heaven, a Catholic book on the Eucharist and the Handshake From Heaven Lesson Plan Book, currently available through Amazon. Also a contributor to Catholic Mom and an avid reader.
This entry was posted in Life in the USA, Motherhood, Religion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Secret of Youth

  1. Nora says:

    Nice job Carol. You captured the essence of why Jesus said, “come to me as little children”. I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around how that would actually look. I thought of the innocence of little children and that I’ve lost that innocence and don’t know how to get back to it. But….Alex’s questions….Jesus wants us to ask, ask, ask. He has said that but I never combined it with the type of asking Alex was doing. Exploring, thinking, wondering, growing. Seeking the wisdom of someone much wiser than he (at least he thinks so LOL…sorry Grandma and Papa and swimming lady :-} )….
    thank you for this insight. Very helpful in my walk.

    Like

    • csbannon says:

      Glad you like it Nora..I’ve been a bit remiss this summer with my writing, and am anxious to get back to it. Darling Alex is due here again tomorrow – Happy Thanksgiving! See you soon.

      Like

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