Monday, May 16, 2011


Owen is a very inquisitive child. He always has been. Even before he could talk. He doesn't let unknown words sneak by without definition. He wants to know how things work, how they are made, what's in things and where stuff comes from. And he's always thinking on things and making connections to other things. I love this about him and I try to nurture and encourage it.

The other day in the car he was talking about parents and grandparents. And he said, "Grandpa & grandpa are daddy's parents." "Yes," I replied, "they are." And we talked about what their names were and why he calls them Grandpa & Grandpa. (Which I think is so cute. He just can't seem to get the grandma concept down!) Then he asked me who my parents were. And I replied, "Mimi is my parent. She is my mom and your grandma." And then the question I knew, someday, would come. "Who is your dad?" So I told Owen my father's name is Tom. (I don't refer to him as my dad, because in my mind he's not.) And then Owen asked, "Where is he?" And I replied, "I don't know." To which he asked, "Why don't you know." So I told him my father left when I was a baby. It was a brief conversation but one I know Owen spent some time thinking about and storing it for later. That's what he does. I've learned to mostly only answer the questions I'm asked because more information than what is asked is often confusing and leads to more questions that I didn't necessarily want to answer!

I know some day this will come up again. And I know I can't change the circumstances that created how things are, but I'm the one left to answer Owen's questions. And I don't have the answers. I may never have the answers. Which is a hard thing to accept as a parent. Even when the question is as seemingly simple as, "Who are your parents."

1 comment:

val said...

Maria used to call my parents, The Boy Grandpa and the Girl Grandpa.

I found that entirely charming too.

And difficult questions are so part of parenthood.

John was ten when he asked me about abortion. I explained it.

He said, "You could have done that to me." (He's always known we were overly young parents. I don't believe in secrets. They take on abnormal power.)

The hair stood up on the back of my neck, and for the record, I am pro-choice--don't want the government (old white guys) making those decisions for us.

I told him the truth. "No. Your life was never on the line."

22 years ago, that conversation is still with me.

My dad had a friend who had a daughter my same age, also an untimely pregnancy at the same time.

Her pregnancy was terminated.

My dad has said every time he sees this guy, he thinks about that, and how he's had a lifetime of JOHN. Yeah, we all have.

Keep having the tough conversations. Parenthood grows us. love, Val