A parent’s plan for their children is by design and we don’t like a lot of variation from the plan. However, there are moments when the wheels fall off the wagon and plans take a sudden turn and we’re faced with death, injuries, illness, financial problems, or whatever the trial de jour might be. Over time I have learned there is always an answer to the question, Why? I don’t always like the timing of receiving the answer. Sometimes someone else hands you the silver lining on a platter in a very unexpected way.

“Sometimes you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.” J. Garcia

Over the weekend our oldest child Dalton was set to knock out some school service hours. His choice was to help younger children with different skills at a baseball camp. Inspired, our second child, Tyler decided to offer a hand for the fun of it. Helping a good cause and hanging out with friends and family is always a good combination. Mid-day the call from Tyler, “Hey, I think I broke my thumb.” was the unraveling of a pretty good day.

His mom rushed to the baseball field and brought him to me so I could check out the thumb. An easy inspection proved the thumb was broken and we asked, why? Not “why” in the reason how the thumb got broken but “why” in the “why did this have to happen now…” This break means Tyler will miss the season’s final swim meets and won’t start baseball as a first baseman. Why do we have to deal with the care of the thumb, the cost, time, pain… Why?

The answer to “why” came much sooner than expected. On the way back to the house the discussion of why was making its way around the car. From the back seat, his mom heard the wisdom of a child shatter the whys of his parents, “Well I guess God wants me to do something else with my time, and maybe some other kid needed that time more than I did.” My eyes got teary.

Sometimes the answers we hear from our children to the big questions of life’s why moments are the best reflection of who our children really are. Sometimes, quite by accident, they show us who they really are, and sometimes we should take the time to be thankful. Other times we need to appreciate our kids might have more faith and confidence in handling these obstacles than we do.

We still have the possibility of surgery, pain, and sadness about missing sports. There is a brightness to these challenges because he accidentally showed a deep maturity. Knowing your child is developing coping mechanisms to deal with “why questions” is a silver lining worth clinging to.