I Wonder

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When our children ask questions, we would like to offer answers, don’t we? I usually try to come up with the correct answers, but lately I find myself short of those, not to mention good ones.

The other day after dinner, it was getting dark and windy. The clouds on the sky were moving quickly. I pointed to my son, “Look, sweetie, those clouds are moving really fast!” He looked at the clouds and turned to ask me “Mom, where are they heading to?” Okay, should I talk to him about cloud, wind, lightening, thunder, rain…? Not sure I can explain to him clearly. Luckily, at that moment I thought of the magic answer from his previous daycare teacher - “I wonder”. “Yeah, I wonder! Where ARE they heading to?”I said to my son hesitantly.

For a minute or two, there are a number of doubts lingering in my mind. My child has special needs. What if he doesn’t understand what I mean? What if he thought I neglected him by not answering him directly? What if I just discouraged him from continuing with our conversation? What if…

Then a little voice broke the silence, playing the most beautiful music to my ears. “They are going to pick up grandma and grandpa!” Such a creative imagination from my special needs boy! A minute ago I was almost certain that he could not answer. My heart melted and tears emerged in my eyes. I gazed softly at my boy in the autumn breeze. The big smile and the sparks in his eyes, so grateful I didn’t miss them.

Sometimes when children ask questions, they are not really looking for answers. When our children have special needs, they do not need to be treated differently simply because we neurotypical people assume that they won’t understand. We tend to question their intelligence. We tend to bend down and lower our expectations or treat them like babies. I wonder, if we offer our children an equal opportunity without presumptions, will they step up to the challenges in their own ways? I wonder, if we place a little more confidence in our children, will they surprise us with their untapped potentials? I wonder…