Mielke: The answer to ‘why’ can just lead to more questions

Early deadlines, a surprise birthday party and out-of-town guests were on my to do list last week.

It’s no wonder I almost forgot to play.

Luckily, as fate would have it, a teacher, in the shape of a four-year-old boy, came along to teach me that valuable life lesson.

Remember to smell the roses or at least take a few minutes to jump over some mud puddles.

They say when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

I must have been ready.

He arrived at my house Friday night and even after a long, long car ride he managed an endearing smile for his hosts, grandpa Peter and me. His biological grandpa and his mom had told him, not once, but several times, that he had to be good, even better than good. He had to be on his very best behaviour, because he was, after all, a guest in someone’s home.

He listened, shook his head and then proceeded to be not good, not bad, but simply his very own four-year-old self.

And he was delightful.

Being four-years-old in an adult world is not easy. And it is confusing.

No doubt, that is why the little guy kept asking, “why?”

“Why is the sky blue? Why do you have too much to do to play with me? Why can’t I call grandpa cute? Why do you call me darlin’? My name is Taren.”

I took him with me shopping. I was busy. My mind cluttered with about a million and one adult tasks that I needed to accomplish yesterday.

“Why?” he asked.

His question made me stop and think. “Why did it matter, anyway?

What if I forgot something? What if I couldn’t find matching napkins and my guests had to use milk instead of creamer for their coffee? What if the ham wasn’t big enough? What if nobody came and the ham was too big?”

I looked at my little companion perched on the seat beside me and I said, “why, indeed?”

I held his little hand and together we jumped over all the mud puddles in the parking lot on the way to the grocery store. Then we did it again backwards.

On the way home he sang Pop Goes the Weasel to me and I clapped and said, “‘wow’, you are not even off key.”

“Why?” he said.

I let him push a miniature cart all around the grocery store, which he did with great finesse, until he rounded a corner just a little too sharply and everything spilled out.

“Whoops,” I said and we giggled.

As predicted, the party was not perfect, but the fun and laughter and visiting just kind of bounced off the walls in a good way, and I was pleased.

Twenty-nine people showed up, including the guest of honour.

As usual, when I throw a party there is standing room only in my basement.

And as usual, there was a party after the party, and the remaining guests laughed, and sang together until the wee hours of the morning.

As for me, I disappeared for awhile while everyone was singing and laughing and went downstairs with my new little friend. Together we curled up with a huge storybook.

“Grandma Treena is going to read you three stories and then you have to go to sleep,” I said sternly.

“Why?” he said.

“Because I’m very tired,” I replied.

“Why?” he said.

But I didn’t answer. It was too late. One of us was already asleep.

And I’m sure no one will even have to ask why!

Treena Mielke lives in Sylvan Lake and is editor of the Rimbey Review. She has been a journalist and columnist for more than 25 years. Treena is married to Peter and they have three children and six grandchildren.

Just Posted

Olympic ski run designer creates upgrades at Canyon Ski Resort

Jeff Ihaksi says free-style and alpine ski venues are Canada Winter Games-worthy

Updated: Collision expert backs version of crash of driver accused of manslaughter

Daniel Newsham accused of manslaughter in fatal 2016 collision

Red Deer artist highlights the dinosaur connection of Alberta birds

Jeff Powers is fascinated by winged creatures

Murder charges laid against woman from the Sunchild First Nation

The 25-year-old female victim was found dead on Dec. 12

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

WHL’s Thunderbirds, Silvertips open to NHL joining Seattle hockey market

TORONTO — The Seattle area’s major junior hockey teams aren’t worried about… Continue reading

Canadian freestyle skier Karker excited for Dew Tour’s modified superpipe

Rachael Karker has a renewed sense of confidence heading into her second… Continue reading

CBS settled with Dushku over ‘Bull’ star’s sexual comments

LOS ANGELES — CBS reached a $9.5 million confidential settlement last year… Continue reading

Kanye reignites Drake feud on Twitter, alleges threats

LOS ANGELES — Kanye West is not sending Christmas cheer to Drake.… Continue reading

Councillors in Toronto, Ottawa vote to allow retail cannabis stores

TORONTO — Councillors in Toronto have voted to allow retail pot shops… Continue reading

Barry Cooper: Separation has become a real possibility, thanks to Ottawa’s abuses

In the past couple of weeks, a retired senior oil executive, Gwyn… Continue reading

Most Read