The best gifts this year came in conversations, questions, and answers, laughter, smiles, family and home. The simple stuff, in a prayer’s answer revealing the journey of the answer one word, one step at a time.
Seemingly mundane, wasteful conversation, like riddles, questions and answers sometimes reveal something beautiful, something valuable, telling through playful words and kitchen conversations.
Christmas time is full of questions – “What do you want for Christmas?”- and turning that answer into something needful and fulfilling
All the brothers watching, knowing the answer to that riddle – waiting to hear if some things change.
Some answers don’t change.
The Hobbit has spurred the little buys into riddle competitions – more savy Q&A sessions – pulling me into jousting riddle matches – luckily the loser isn’t eaten.
“What comes into town on Friday, stays 2 days and leaves on Saturday?” (1)one boy asked on a mom-son outing.
“What rides into battle wearing a fur coat and sits down to the victory dinner with a bowl full of oats?”(2) I asked when it was my turn.
“What crawls on the ground and hates salt?” (3)he asked.
“What’s thin skin has a green parlor, then blushes red while it goes out on a limb for people who care enough to reach out to it?”(4) I lob back.
“What turns left when it goes out of a cave?”(5) he countered.
“What goes fully dressed in the heat of the summer, is naked in the winter – and hosts friends whether dressed or not?” (6)I returned.
“What occurs once in a millenium, twice in a moment and never in a thousand years?”(7) he said, smirking in confidence.
“What is utterly necessary, has two separate tasks, one which covers dinner and the other which builds strength?” (8)I volleyed.
The back and forth continued: “What has 2 legs, struts with confidence and runs at the first sight of danger?”(9)
“What sleeps in the hay, hangs on a tree, walks out of a cave and rides on a cloud?” (10)
“What’s in my pocket? (11)” he said, raising his eye-brow, thinking he’d put this match away..
“A riddle should have clues and two lines. I never thought Bilbo’s question was a true riddle,” I countered – and a discussion ensued on what qualifies as a riddle.
“Is there anything you want to tell me?” I ask, throwing that line out like a fishing pole baited to catch something unawares. The older boys now see it as the fishing expedition it is. The younger ones still get a deer-in-the-head-light look that says, “How does she know?”
The other day, one son sat at the counter, telling me about a girl he had asked out.
“What am I going to ask,” I said, as I cleaned up after dinner.
His brother walked behind me, not a part of the Q&A, not part of the questioning riddles and answers, he walked behind me with an arm full of laundry, and gave his brother the answer, “Does she love, Jesus?”
Instead of eye-rolling, “mom” exclamations sighed out, irritation about being reminded of their faith in an area where maybe they don’t want that faith-accountability – they both took in stride, as if the moment would have missed the question, as if they expected the question and wanted it to be there.
Ironically, the question I was going to ask was whether he had finally asked about her college major. I didn’t correct them. I liked their answer to the riddle better!
They gave me a gift in their answer, something this mother heart holds close.
Riddles and their answers require knowledge of subject matter and thought processes common to both individuals. Whether my boys agree with the information that has been planted in them, whether they yet fully embrace the magnitude of rama(alive in their lives) knowledge of trust and faith in the Father, sometimes those faith, belief and value things show themselves – like in Riddle, Question and Answer sessions.
1) A Horse named Saturday
2) A horse
7) the letter M
9) a chicken
11) Answer totally at the mercy of the pocket, clues not forthcoming.