As we sat in silence on a long car ride, I could sense that Millie was in deep thought. I let her be and encouraged the silence. Then she speaks. "Mommy, is the Easter bunny real or just dressed up?" I was amazed that this 4-year -old was already curious and questioning life's BIGGEST questions. With a big smile on my face, I responded with, "That is a great question." I continued to tell her the truth. " I only have met "dressed up" Easter bunnies, but that doesn't mean there is not a real one. I believe anything is possible." She seemed to be happy with my answer.
A few weeks later, on another silent car ride, she asks, "Mommy, who built the world?" I am just amazed and excited to here her questions about life. Again, I answer in honesty. "People have different ideas about that. I believe God, the Universe and each and every one of us created our world, but one day you might have a different feeling or opinion about how this world came about and that is okay."
I love these teachable moments created by Millie's curious mind. I want to encourage her deep thoughts and her questions. I want her to know that she might have a different opinion than others and that is okay. I hope she learns to respect that we are all on our own paths with different knowledge and opinions. I will guide her in learning these valuable lessons through my actions, my emotions, my responses and my own teachable moments. As I teach her, she teaches me. This is what parenting is all about and all relationships right? We challenge others as they challenge us. We learn from each other and we grow and expand into our true self. It all starts with a curious mind, a question and some courage.