Curioser and curioser

Early in our courtship, Terence told me his favorite quality in a woman was “curiosity.”

I think he found a decent amount of this in his wife, but WOW did his firstborn daughter deliver. Ever since Hannah started talking, life with her has been a whirlwind of questions. Astute, nosy, smart, insistent questions. After a weekend with two-year-old Hannah, good friends of ours who were pregnant at the time said, “we think we might not teach our child to talk. It’s too exhausting.”


Scene: trying to get dinner on the table before all four family members imploded

Hannah: “Mom, why did the Second World War start?” (who knows what prompted this? Maybe an American Girl book?)

Hilary: “Oh, it was complicated. There were a lot of reasons.”

Hannah: “OK. Tell me one.”

Hilary: “Oh, honey, I don’t really have time to get into it.”

Hannah: “Just one.”

Hilary: “There was something about an Archduke…” (Forgive me. The pot was boiling over and I got my World Wars confused)

Or last night, in the middle of tooth brushing:

Hannah: “How did people learn to talk?”

Hilary: “You mean how does a baby learn to talk? Your first word was ‘hi,’ probably because you had heard us say it so much.”

Hannah: “No! How did the FIRST person learn to talk?”

Living here, in this kaleidoscopic, confusing, rich city, there is no end to the questions Hannah will ask. Questions about justice and religion and nationalism and history, and the list goes on. As exhausting and often inconvenient as her questions are, especially when asked at top volume on an Egged bus, I’m also in awe of Hannah’s intellectual zest and persistence. As I think about returning to Delaware in a few months, I worry about keeping her engaged when our surroundings are not quite as in-your-face interesting. Then again, Hannah will surely find a way to get curious about cornfields.

About hilarymead

Taking two young kids, a great husband, and a whole lot of questions to Jerusalem for a year's sabbatical.
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4 Responses to Curioser and curioser

  1. betseyt says:

    Yes, she will be a constant joy.

  2. Lindsey says:

    I love this story. I can totally picture the scene you describe. xoxo

  3. Love it! When you guys get back, give Hannah our phone number. It seems like she and Jonah would be able to entertain each other for quite some time.


  4. She is, of course, exactly the child you two would deserve. And need. And most know how to raise. I can’t imagine Hannah in any other family! Happy Birthday to that smart, curious girl.

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