There are various ways my child asks questions. She will ask questions in the midst of a conversation. Sometimes her questions are more statements to which she is seeking a response. Often she will simply ask a question, straight forward and directly addressing a point. And then there is the "I have a question..." which comes out of the blue and serves as a yield sign, slow down; take caution. One never knows what question will follow such a statement.
Lately I have fielded some questions that I have not truly been prepared to answer. The first in this line up was:
What is sex?
My practice is to take a minute in hopes of identifying the actual question that is being asked. Did she truly want to know what "sex" was or was she looking for an easy answer? Can I give an easy answer to the question without going into the reasons for, time to engage etc?
It's okay, she told me, I don't care. I didn't answer the question as quickly as she would have liked. Is it kissing while nude? I told her that was part of it. Okay she said, and the subject was dropped.
A few nights later she and I agreed that sex is what humans call mating.
She was completely satisfied with that answer.
The next question came a bit later:
What is it called when a married woman likes another woman?
Now this truly did require some investigation on my part. I have to be careful as I don't want to ask too many questions. Just enough to get the story behind the question.
Bottom-line on that one, she wanted to know what "gay" meant.
The Diva has been thinking a lot this summer I guess. Her brain has not been focused upon her school lessons or ballet. She has had time to consider her own life. She has also been reading a lot.
Other questions have surfaced about her dad. For these, I encourage her to ask him directly as I do not think it is fair or just for me to answer them. I can try, but I would prefer that they build a relationship in which she feels comfortable asking her questions and receiving his answers.
And the question of the day:
How old do you have to be before you can leave home?
Well, that depends...I explain that some people leave home at 18, others are younger and others are older.
When do you want to leave home?
When I am 25, but I will let you know when I am ready.
I love questions. I love that the Diva feels comfortable asking questions and hope that she always will. I try to answer them with as much honesty as possible and using the information that she seeks - not going overboard with details or explanations.
But sometimes... the questions are truly a challenge to answer.