When my oldest son was 4 years old, we were on our way to “Life Chain”, a pro-life activity where everyone stood silently holding signs along the business route in support of life. There were hundreds of people participating and the silence was, in and of itself, peaceful.
What I remember the most, however, was the drive. Blake sat next to me and asked where we were going. Thinking a short answer would suffice, I told him it was to support babies who hadn’t been born. As kids will do, he filled his logic train by peppering me with, “Why?” over and over.
Honestly, I didn’t want him to know about abortion, but after answering a couple of questions vaguely, I let the word “abortion” slip out. He zeroed in like a heat seeking missile.
I looked at my four year old wearing his t-shirt, shorts and little tennis shoes.
“It’s when a mommy and daddy decide they don’t want a baby inside the mommy’s stomach, so they get a doctor to take it out.”
Staring out the window, somehow knowing, but just making sure, Blake asked, “What happens to the baby?”
I shifted uncomfortably in the driver’s seat.
“The baby dies.”
Now understanding, and with anger and injustice in his expression, Blake asked, “Do they put the mommy and daddy in jail?”
Later while holding a sign, I watched Blake quietly play on the grass behind me with one of his friends, once again speaking and acting like a 4 year old who was oblivious to world issues.
Twenty-six years ago and I still think about our conversation.
It’s funny, children clearly get the most basic issues of life and state them so innocently, so precisely. They seem to see it at its core.
There’s great wisdom in that — wisdom we adults often forget.
Most complicated issues are a series of simple questions not answered right. The wrong answers grow and multiply exponentially until it appears a complicated, messy glob of confusion, but at its core, its just simple questions that were answered wrong to start with….like, no matter what, life is life.
It’s not complex. It’s just a simple answer to a simple question.