Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Little Town of Why

I recently posted a tale from the land of language acquisition. It's a fine land where our family spends a lot of time these days since we have a bright and inquisitive four year old who has inherited our love for language.

The little town of Why is pretty centrally located in this land. It's in a green valley surrounded by misty hills. Hang a left at the stone of "how come?" and push past the forest of "what would happen if..." and you're there. You'll recognize the place by the incessant buzzing-whining sound of "why why why why?" It seems that questions, like bees, can pollinate and make things grow and bloom.

My dear husband has had a lot of evening meetings lately, which means that Sweet Girl and I have had a lot of dinners with just the two of us...well, three, counting her worn bear Trumpkin. Trumpkin was the lovely brown bear I took with me to college (a gift from my Dad). I had no idea he would come out of retirement so many years later and become my daughter's bear. He's about 20 now, and definitely looking a bit thin these days, especially since he's been pulled, prodded, smushed and slept on for the last two years, and dressed and re-dressed in numerous baby clothes for the last two months. He often sits on a little stool right next to my daughter's chair at the kitchen table, looking on at the proceedings with his shiny brown eyes. I have a feeling he's muffling laughter when he hears exchanges like this evening's:

Sweet Girl: Why are we having corn?

Mommy: Because we like it.

Sweet Girl: Why do we like it?

Mommy: (slurping butter off the cob) Because it tastes yummy.

Sweet Girl: (scandalized by slurping) Why am I getting corn all over my face?

Mommy: Sometimes that happens when you eat corn.

Sweet Girl: Why does it taste yummy?

Mommy: Because that's how God made it.

A pause....

Sweet Girl: What would happen if we ate the cob?


Erin said...

I just love this, especially your description of the town of Why. It's so delightfully whimsical! And I certainly have experience in the area of well-worn bears, and the corn conversation brought a smile to my face, especially the notation "scandalized by slurping." Kudos!

Erin said...

Incidentally, I just read something in the booklet of the Peter, Paul and Mary boxed set we got at the concert that reminded me of you. Are you familiar with the song "For Baby (For Bobbie)"? Mary was saying John Denver wrote it originally for his girlfriend at the time, and she convinced him that it was more suited as a lullaby because she thought the kind of love he was describing fit perfectly as a parent's love song to his or her child. Anyway... In its slightly revised form, it's a song about being utterly devoted to your child and treasuring your simple moments together, and it makes me think of you and Sarah. :)

Beth said...

Erin, thanks so much for the lovely comments! Makes my day!

And I hadn't thought of "For Baby (For Bobbie)" in a long time... I think that's the one I always think of as "I'll Walk in the Rain By Your Side..." if that's the right song then yes, I love it, and have many happy memories of singing along with it on vinyl when I was a little girl. I think I may need to ask for some John Denver on CD for Christmas. :-)

Erin said...

Yep, that's the one! :)

"...I'll cling to the warmth of your tiny hand,
I'll do everything to help you understand
I'll love you more than anybody can."