Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Explaining life's mysteries

With temperatures as hot as they have been, I find myself thinking about the inevitable return of icy weather. This past winter certainly produced some of the strangest weather patterns many of us have ever seen. Through it all our family tried to make the most of days when we were able take bike rides together and walk through the neighborhood to count the leaves growing back on the trees.

This all proved to be plenty fun, but it made me realize how mysterious the change in seasons can seem to little ones. There are so many new things changing right before their eyes and they are sometimes left without explanation.

And my daughter is filled with many questions. When she was a little younger, I’d get statements like, “Oh look mommy, the tree lost all its hair! When will it grow back?” But, now that she is growing and knows a lot more about life (so she says), the questions have become a little more thought provoking, “How does it get cold then warm then cold again?” and “What makes the weather change so much?”

Trying to clarify this for her has, at times, leaves me at a loss for words. Explaining the change of seasons to a child in a way that is exciting and easy to understand can be quite a challenge, but I did as my mother would do on many occasions with me. I decided to refer her to “book knowledge.”

While at a local bookstore, I began to browse through the children's section and came across, “Why Do the Season Change, Tell Me Why, Tell Me How.” After taking my time and thumbing through it, I decided that this would be the perfect book for the inquisitive mind of a seven-year old! It offered answers to many of the questions that I have found myself unable to answer in simple terms.

I know that she will feel empowered to go out and explore the world in a new way that she can understand and hopefully this will open a whole new chapter of exploration for her.

Nikki Hall-Branch is a communications coordinator at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.

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