The big W.H.Y. question. You hear it over and over when the kids are small. Their curious minds or their way of annoyance? Come on, y’all think this at times, too. Parents, be honest. How many times can a child ask “why?” before you get tired and say things like: “because that’s the way it is,” or “just because,” or the default, all-time-go-to, favorite . . .”because I said so.”
Well, the kids are grown and have children of their own now. Not all of the grandchildren are old enough yet to ask the endless “why” questions. Their time will come, and I will continue to answer them all without tiring. Why?!? Because that’s what grandparents do!
I am thinking about the childhood “why?” colloquies because I’ve been asked that little, but powerful, one-word question numerous times since we made the move back to Pennsylvania this past summer.
When we run into people we haven’t seen in a while (or share our story with new acquaintances), the brief greeting usually goes something like this:
“Hi! How have you been? Are you visiting?”
“Not visiting. We just recently moved back to the area.”
“Oh, from where?”
“We lived in Myrtle Beach.”
(blank stare) And guess what the next question is . . . Why?!?
I know, many people dream of retiring and moving to someplace warm, preferably near a beach, somewhere they’ve vacationed each summer and vow to move to as soon as they can, or become “snow birds” during the cold wintry months up north and go south to wear flip-flops every day, etc., etc. I get it!
We did it. We sent the last son off to college, emptied the next, and moved to the beach. It was fun. It was an adventure. It was warm (actually hot in the summer). And, it had no snow (well, there were a few inches that one February, and a dusting another January) and winters were rarely COLD, at least not for very long. We enjoyed living at the beach.
I was missing something, however. It took me a decade of gradually longer bouts of sadness after visits back home with family to figure out that, though it was warm, life was void of the fuzzy. Please don’t misunderstand. We made new friends. Some still very close to my heart and I truly miss. We were blessed with opportunities to enjoy the beach almost daily, to be weekend tourists, to engage in our community, to run and play softball all year round, to wear open-toed shoes and shorts when our Pennsylvania family was bundled up in boots and coats, and to make the 5-minute drive to the airport to fly north for visits several times a year. I miss those things and the people who were part of our life at the beach. So again, you ask…. WHY?!?
This is W – welcome H – home Y – yinz
(EDIT: I was advised to say “yinz” now that we’re back in the ‘burgh.)
We are finally all together!!