…But I can’t remember when.

Today we’re going to talk about Pace. My first-born, my right-hand lady, my truth-seeker, my tender-heart. At her current stage, she can be hard to spend long periods of time with. It’s not that we don’t get along, and it’s not that I don’t firmly believe we have a beautiful lifetime friendship spreading out before us. It’s that right now she is burdened by questions…and I get to field 95% of them. They aren’t just questions that leave me wishing I’d saved my eighth grade science book (although there are plenty of those); they’re questions about intricate heart matters–that I often cannot answer (Like, “When is God going to give me a perfect body and take me up in the sky?” Guess they’re studying Revelation in Sunday school??). She hates the, “I don’t know,” response and usually comes back at me with, “Ugghhh, Mom, we are just not understanding each other right now.” Well no, FIVE-YEAR-OLD, I guess we’re not. I guess you’re just talking right over my head. It’s humbling and maddening at the same time.


Because of this daily diatribe, I have vowed to answer any question I can truthfully and to the best of my ability (As long as I’m not having a “Mommy cannot take ANY MORE questions right now. No, don’t even ask if you can have more milk. That’s a question.” I hit that wall at least once a day; let’s keep it real.). So recently, Pace has started asking me what different meats we eat are made of. Like the ham sandwich I pack in her lunch every day–“Mom, what’s ham made out of?” “Pig.” Yes! That was an easy one. “Mom, is an egg really a baby chicken?” I’m gonna tell you that answer got a bit more complicated–trying to be truthful (it is an egg and not a baby, right?) without launching into the birds and the bees at five.

Anywho, this had been going on for a couple of days when I went to pick her up from school and her teacher pulled me to the side and said, “I thought you should know that Pace is refusing to eat her sandwiches any more because they are made of pig.” “What??!!!” My first thought was, “Dadgum Seattlites and their diets! What kid is turning my child into a vegetarian?” After questioning her, however, I discovered that the only dadgum Seattlite turning Pace into a vegetarian is…me.
She very innocently and tearfully explained to me that she did not know anyone else who didn’t eat meat, but she never wanted to eat it again. She said that she loves all animals and can’t bear the thought of eating one ever again. When told to eat her dinner that her mother made her, she had a gag reflex trying take down her baked chicken and apologized to me for not being able to eat it. When I explained that God gave us animals so that we could eat them–that eating meat is what makes her strong, she asked if God wanted people to eat Locks too.

Out of nowhere, my deer hunting, meat-loving, “It’s not dinner if there’s not meat on my plate” family had created a true convicted vegetarian–who has never even heard that word spoken. I’m sure stranger things have happened…but I can’t remember when.
What Jeremiah and I have come to, I think, is that she is not old enough to make a decision like that for herself. However, the fact that she is so sweet-spirited and apologetic about the whole mess makes us want to work with her when we can. I’ve started making hummus roll-ups for her lunches instead of ham sandwiches, and if she wants the black bean and corn quesadilla at the Mexican restaurant instead of chicken, it’s ok. When we have dinner at home as a family, she has to eat some of everything I cook–just like always.

How about I leave you with one last strange happening with Pace? Jeremiah and I came home from a date last weekend and our babysitter said, “I don’t know if this will be an issue, but I just thought you should know… I was putting the girls to bed and Pace got really upset when I would not say prayers with her. I tried to explain that different people have different bedtime rituals, and I brush my teeth–just like her–but I don’t say prayers. She then said, ‘You mean you don’t know JESUS?!'”
Try fielding that one from a career nanny with good references that you hired….Aggghhh!
[These pictures are of the girls riding the new bicycles they got for their birthdays. They saved up chore and birthday money and bought them with their own little stash (Thank you family for the money gifts!). It was a sweet day and Pace still goes in the garage on the days she can’t ride “just to look at it for a little while.”]

21 Responses to “I’m Sure Stranger Things Have Happened…”

  1. Megan says:

    I could have written this post myself. Layla never stops asking questions. EVER. And how do I tell her to stop asking so many questions? I don't want to limit her or make her less interested in learning but good grief…sometimes. I also have the daily "ask me ONE more question and see what happens!" moment. I feel your 5 year old question asking pain!

  2. Anna says:

    Abby, I did the same thing when I was five about eating meat! One day I told my mom and dad that I just didn't like meat anymore {and my dad was a cattle farmer- go figure}. I told them a hamburger tasted like ants in my mouth!! I don't really remember if it had anything to do with the actual animals, but not until middle/high school did I slowly start eating meat again and I am still a little picky about it even now! Sweet Pace, she may learn that she doesn't really WANT to know all of the answers to her questions 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well you could always say hmm let us do a google search for ham on the internet. and when all the stuff comes up you could say wow i guess someone took a great deal of time to write all this information so we can learn everything about ham. and explain to her reference libraians get paid to answer questions like that or you could always call the Foy information desk to make it fun to ask the question of the day.

  4. Kellie says:

    This all made me laugh… Thanks for sharing it!!!! It's great to see the "real" side of you – I'm also so impatient at the end of the day when the questions never cease!!!! Looks like ya'll are thriving in Seattle and I've enjoyed reading along!!!!

  5. Lauren says:

    Hi Abby! I love reading your blog as I feel like I could learn a lot from you, your husband, your relationship with Christ and the way yall raise your kiddos! I just had my first baby (2 months old) and am trying to take notes from you (from how to throw a killer birthday party, to how to teach them about Jesus to how to field all of their little question!) so I will be well prepared as my little one grows! As always, thanks for a great post and please keep writing!

  6. Amy says:

    Love your posting as always! My boyfriend's 5-year old asks tons of questions too. I love the innocence.

    Sounds like Pace is already adjusting to Seattle – take advantage of the dry days while she has them!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Well, there are so many children's stories that star pigs; from Piglet, winnie the pooh's friend to Charlotte's web to Felicia Bond's adorable characters. It is hard for a young'un to wrap their heads around this stuff. Pigs don't fly, bears don't wear ties and hats in national parks but there is a mouse out there with a big bank account.

  8. Gail says:

    Love your story today. Our just…turned six yr. old told his mother…."I want to return Bo, I can't STAND him, and I am MAD at God for making Bo the way he is! " I have know idea how to answer this one! I will be doing so soon as we depart and will spend the next two months in, Hawaii, with them!…He also wanted to know…when his Dad would return from Iraq…dead….My poor daughter! They live on Post and it is daunting, to say the least….to explain these life situations to them. Good luck! I wonder how their LIL' minds work! He also told his mom….one day while driving to school…"Mom, did you know…Jesus lives in your heart! " She answered she did…he went on to tell her…"GG told me that Jesus was inside my heart!" They hadn't even been talking about such….Where do their thoughts come from!!!! ???? And, I hadn't even seen him in months. I had know idea he was really getting what I had said about Jesus! I hope Pace can eat a hamburger soon! Poor, sweet, LIL' girl. I love her heart!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I have never commented before but I've been reading your blog for a looonnnggg time!! 🙂 I find your honesty to be refreshing.

    Anyway, my heart is breaking that you don't have someone to pray over your children and to put them to bed while you spend time with your husband!! I just realized how I take that for granted!!

    I promise to pray that the Lord would send someone to minister to your family in that way!!

    And, my word verification is dePORKyr…I could not make this up if I tried 🙂

  10. Katharina says:

    We are five siblings…all of us always ate meat. But somehow one day my youngest sister would refuse to eat dead animals. She was age 6. My mom used to cook lunch when we came home from school. We never had discussions like "I don`t like this, I don`t eat that" before.
    But when my youngest sister would totaly refuse to eat meat my mom started cooking extra vegetarian "meat" and soya for her – just to make sure she had all the nutrition she needed.

    …that is a long time ago! The fun part is … today she is a vet. (so her love for animals lastet) BUT she started eating meat again. (but not before around age 22)
    When she was in university she had to make an internship in a slaughterhouse. You would thing that would make a vegetarian even stronger! The opposite happend. She always says…it is hard to watch, but the animals die very fast and it is somehow the "natural way" of life. Plus meat is so well checked.

    I think it is just sweet of Pace to care so much for everything "living"!

  11. aedozier says:

    I think it's great that you and Jeremiah are giving her a little room to form her own opinions and make some of her own decisions. I think it's important to who they are and who they will become. We, too, allow our 3.5 year old to make some of her own decsions…obvious stuff that won't harm her. My parents totally think we give her way too many options. I just like to think I am teaching her how to make the right choices and how to be independent.

  12. Ashleigh says:

    Ok, I rarely come out of my google reader to comment. BUT… today I had to!! Hee! For you see, I too have a 5 year old and she and Pace are kindred souls!! I mean seriously, except she still eats meat (but i have not told her what is in it yet 🙂
    Love to read your writing, your honesty is so refreshing!! I will pray for you/Jeremiah that you will find you a "hummy" like we have (we have no family near us either). We finally found us a grandmother/nanny/friend/sitter that we all love and she needed us as much as we needed her! Hang in there!!

  13. Konie says:

    CUTE PICTURES on the new bikes!!!!!!!!!!!! What an exciting time for them and you have the perfect place to ride:)) Thanks so much for the pics on the blog:)))) And Pace is so SMART….and so are YOU so I'm sure you will come up with the right answers for all her questions:)) "out of the mouth of babes"……all recorded right here on the blog (journal:))….XOXO

  14. Anne says:

    Abby, I have read your blog ever since your mother died. I loved your mother; everybody in Dorm B loved your mother. You wrote in a much earlier blog about your mother making the beds naked. I laughed when I read it, and I have laughed with others as I retold your story. I believe I saw your mother as often naked as with clothes on!! She ran up and down Dorm B's secong floor in underpants ALL the time. Your mother was not only beautiful on the outside, but she was more beautiful on the inside.
    Take her with you wherever you go!
    Anne Kendrick

  15. Elaine says:

    OH GOSH! These are funny. Sounds like my 5 almost 6 year old boy. He has had the same reaction when he finds out people don't know Jesus. Bless y'alls and her heart!

  16. Anonymous says:

    i think it's great that she is getting to know people with different thoughts on life etc. and realizing many types make the world a special place. what a great experience.

  17. Anonymous says:

    those are cute bikes but have you heard of the Balance bike ? A European approach to teaching a child to ride and build confidence

  18. Simple Gratitude says:

    I've never commented before but had to on this one! Love your blog, your writing is so honest and humble. I always look forward to your posts!

    On a trip to the beach one time, my grandparents counted how many questions my brother asked. Four hour car ride, and he topped out at well over 200. At least half were follow up "WHY?" questions. They loved it, struggled with it, and then I became the favorite because I slept the whole way to the beach 🙂

  19. Lindsey says:

    Hi! Your blog came up as a suggestion on GoogleReader and I am so happy it did! We are moving from Virginia to Seattle in January with a 6 month old and 2 year old. We are incredibly thankful to have great friends who moved there a year ago, but I definitely have never made a move like this before! I was hoping you might be able to suggest a Christian preschool or moms groups. We will be living in Queen Anne. I know this is random… but I have started my transition to our new life in Seattle through your blog! My email is lindsey527@gmail.com if you have time for any suggestions. Thanks 🙂

  20. Jenny says:

    You know I have such a soft spot for sweet little Pace. You better not send her to my house….she won't have to eat anything she doesn't want to!! ;)!! All your pics are so beautiful. I am so glad that ya'll are having such a neat experience!

  21. Alicia and Daniel says:

    I have to confess how much I miss your sweet family! I know that I didn't get to see you all much, but I would get so excited when you'd ask if I could babysit. It was always a breath of fresh air compared to all the studying. It was a reminder to me that I was going through all this schooling so that I can have a family one day!
    Pace's little prayers always made my heart smile! She's got a way with words! I think she could convert any non-believer with her precious prayers! I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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