I suppose it is a right of passage for kids. Penny has come into the stage of asking "why?" about everything. A quick example:
"Where's Dad?" "At work." "Why?" "Because he goes to work in the morning." "Why?" "Because he likes to teach." "Why?" And on it goes, until I give up.
As tedious as the conversations can become, I'm also amused by them, and encouraged that Penny is trying to figure out why the world works the way it does. I'm encouraged that she is starting to understand that there are (usually) reasons for behavior, predictable rhythms to our days, order and purpose to what we do as a family.
I'm 32 years old now, and I'm still asking why. Sometimes with a smile. "Why me?" when I receive a gift out of the blue: William kissing me on the cheek or a note of encouragement about writing or a pile of hand-me-down clothes. Sometimes with an ache. Last night, we met a couple who have started a faith-based organization to serve children with special needs in Africa (Special Hope Network). As they visited, I saw dozens of pictures of orphans with no medical care, no toys, no one to hold them and love them and keep them safe. And I saw a young man with Down syndrome whose lips turn blue when he walks across the room now because his heart is malformed. He is dying. If Penny had been born in sub-Saharan Africa, in poverty, she could be in the same place. Instead, she went to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia one morning, and that night we took her home. Heart fixed. So again I asked the question, "Why me?"
At the end of the day, "why?" is a faith question. It assumes there is some order, and reason, and purpose in this world. It assumes that horrors and injustices go against that order and reason and purpose and yet there might just be an answer, a redemption, a hope, in the end.
So I'm going to try to be patient as Penny continues to ask why, and I'm going to try to have faith that there will be an answer.