Why is a letter in the alphabet

Why is something I am asking often even though I know I shouldn’t. When my kids were little, they would ask why all the time and it drove me to the brink of drinking a bottle of wine to numb the sound of “why”. Why is the grass green? Why is the sky blue? Why can’t I have a cookie? Why do I need to eat begetables (that’s how they said it, ok)? Why can’t I stay up late? Why do you love me? Why are you my mother? Why can’t I rub instant pudding all over myself? Why Why Why Why Why? Why?

My answer to them would always be, Why is a letter in the alphabet and it annoyed them to no end but eventually they stopped asking. Now I find myself asking why all the time and nobody is answering my why questions and it is infuriating. And the worst is that I’m asking my child why. Why are you so sad? Why are you upset? Why are you cutting yourself? Why don’t you like yourself? Why in the world do you want to die? I want to shout WHY at the top of my lungs and shake her until she finally answers. And her answer to me is always, I don’t know why mom, I’m depressed and I don’t know why.

And why should she know why. Does a person with cancer know definitely why they have cancer? And really does it matter? Does it matter that they may have gotten sick from smoking or bad genes or just that they are sick and need help to get better? The same thing is true here. She wants me to know that she is depressed and to love her through it even though I don’t and can’t know why. In my brain I know this but in my heart I feel like if I just know why I can get to the root of the problem and dig out that deep root and burn it in a large fire. I’m her mother, this is my job. I am responsible for keeping her safe and loved at all times and right now I feel so helpless because no matter how hard I try, I am unable to do this most basic task. Because I don’t know why. And this is the hardest part, not knowing why.

There are other why questions that I more easily put away like why when I pluck one facial hair do twenty appear? Or why do I have to stick my head in a freezer all the time? Or why is this hallway so dark and never ending?

But I’ll probably never know because why doesn’t really matter. It’s just a letter in the alphabet.


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