Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

6 Reasons Why Asking Why is Important

I want to tell you a story before I tell you about the 6 reasons why asking why is important.

Each of us tells and has stories that stay. Words we hold onto when we’re frightened, hopeful, in awe, and lost. Rhymes and mantras from childhood visit us over the years. We learn new ones in our teens and in our 30’s.

Some give us hope that we’ll find a parking place when we’re late. Others are sent to the stars and to God in hope of solidarity or peace. Most, probably, as we tend to draw on these things when we need them, are sent in panic.

Today, for the first time since I trusted the short bus, I panicked when the regular bus didn’t deliver my son. “Where’s my kid?” I asked, more confused than worried, just yet. More worried than I wanted to show. Do we all blame ourselves, first? For missing something?

He wasn’t there. My little boy did not get off the bus.

I’d already dialed and yelled at she-who-answers-phones at the school while searching. I wanted to punch her for saying “maybe he stayed after?”

He’s SIX, and developmentally delayed. He doesn’t “stay after,” at least not yet. As a neighbor girl told me and her mom where the next stop was, I walked towards it, while humming in my head about not stepping on the cracks, because that’s what came to mind, when not knowing where my son was.

“Step on a crack, and break your mother’s back,” I whispered, avoiding them, still on the phone, saying “NO this is not okay, he’s six years old!”

And then, him, running toward me, snot and tears covering his face. Covering mine.

Me, “thank you thank you thank you thank you” and all of the un-words that we have when we crash to the sidewalk on our knees, thanking all that is to be hugging a cold, frightened six-year-old.

He’d gotten on the wrong bus.

Thank you thank you thank you thank you to all of the alls that it was one that has our same route. That there are dozens of them, spidering from the school to the unknowns, or to all of the sortof-knowns that he may have gotten off at, and I just can’t even.

I don’t have words for how terrified this makes me.

Words. Each of us has the ones we go to when we’re worried, thankful, hopeful, or frightened. Each of us also has words that we hope to aspire to.

Like, finding a word for 2016.

I thought about this a lot. That resolutions are meh, that a word was such a better idea. And I found words, although the ones I thought of didn’t perfectly fit as my word of 2016.

Love. Should love be my word of the year? Well, yes, but no because I’m pretty confident that I know what this one is and is not and how to use it and grow it and pass it on. I think I can do that already.

Health. Well, sure. I want to live until the year 2059 and beyond. I want to meet my son’s children, and be able to walk and breathe. I also know that I need to focus on this more while understanding that it’s not my word. Not now, anyway.

Acceptance. Um, yes. I always want acceptance, for my son, for me, for each of us regardless of skin color, religion, sexual orientation, clothing choices, bad decisions, bad hair, bad breath… each of us deserves to be seen as a people above all else. But I already have that in my word cape.

So I’m going to throw this next one out there, because I’ve been thinking about the word of the year for a few days now, and I keep coming back to this one. I thought about writing a New Year’s post with it as the single resolution before this week’s Finish the Sentence prompt was even suggested.

That word is “why?”

6 reasons to ask why in 2016-

6 Reasons Why Asking Why is Important.

Why? ←– hehe see what I did there?

My 2016 word of the year is why. Here are the reasons I’ve chosen it above 1,001 others that have run through my head and my life over the past few days and decades.

  1. By asking myself “why?” when it comes to choices, I’ll more easily identify the ones that I’m making for me. As a mother and a friend and a human living among others, there will be times that I make choices for others, sure. And those matter as well. Of course, I’ll chaperone my son’s field trip even when I’m tired or need to reschedule a conference call. But that’s for me, and for him, and for big good reasons.  
  2. Why am I eating this? Am I hungry? Am I emotional? Am I feeling ill and need something? Am I craving ice cream because I haven’t had enough water today?
  3. Why am I doing this? As a person who sometimes isn’t very smart about making healthy choices like occasionally smoking, asking myself why helps. I can go without, and so why, when I’m not feeling well am I craving this? Do I need alone time? An escape? Why?
  4. Why do I engage in conversations that I don’t want to have? This one is more complex, as many involve family or work or friends that I want to build up, but asking myself why I’m staying up later than I want to to work though something that is not mine may help me to prioritize, and to have the patience to get through it, or the strength to get off the phone.
  5. Why am I writing? Am I doing it because I must? Yes, of course. No writer writes for others, really, or, if they do, they must know something I don’t, because it’s a lonely business, and one filled with more self-doubt and criticism than many callings are. There are those who think of it as a hobby. And, maybe, in some ways it is.
  6. Why do I write what I write? Why do I share what I share? I don’t know the answer to this, but I know some of the symptoms, and the love, and the hope that’s found here. I think I should explore that more. I also think asking myself why I don’t submit more often to other places is something worth thinking about. Am I afraid? Lazy? Both? I’ll let you know when I know. 

kristi rieger campbell finished post for finding ninee

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday prompt. This weeks’ sentence is “My 2016 Word of the Year is…”
Hots:  Me ( and
Mardra Sikora – this week’s sentence thinker-upper (
and Allison McGrath Smith (

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  • Dana - Oh, this is a GOOD word. It reminds me of when my kids were toddlers and asked “Why?” about everything. And then they stopped doing it all the time. But we should never stop. Asking why is what helps us grow and Become.

    You’re so wise, Kristi. That’s one of the many reasons WHY I love you.January 7, 2016 – 10:08 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - LOL to the “Why?” with toddlers and we so should never stop. Why do we do the stuff we don’t want to? Is it worth it? Why do we do things that aren’t good for us? Who are we punishing? And your YOUness is WHY I love you too, you.January 7, 2016 – 10:52 pmReplyCancel

  • Allie - I can’t believe that happened to Tucker! That happened to Hunter/Me in kindergarten. I was at the bus-stop and the bus pulled away and i freaked! No Hunter. (He’d fallen asleep on the bus – no one woke him, and the driver didn’t see him till the end of the route, at walk through!.

    Anyway – I love your word. And I’m already asking nyself – WHY – why I wrote the rant post I did. Oh well. It’s out there now! Happy New Year!January 7, 2016 – 10:12 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - OMG the falling asleep!!! That was actually what I was hoping for but Tucker hasn’t napped for years now yikes. I’m so so SO lucky that the route was the same. He told me tonight that he’d have gotten off anywhere and have been smart and found his way home. The streets here are CRAZZZZY busy… OMG I just can’t!!!!
      I’m sure your post is amazing. As always.January 7, 2016 – 10:54 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - Your questions are great and as you’ll see in my post, I touch on #5 as well. As for the terrifying incident with Tucker, I’ve so been there (we lost Big dude once in a mall and Little Dude one time in Costa Rica! Both times were for maybe 3 minutes, but it felt like 3 days). And yes to words that we aspire to – I suppose that’s what I chose this week. So much better than a resolution — makes much more sense to me!January 7, 2016 – 10:42 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Emily,
      Thanks for joining, and for your great comment – I’ll bet Costa Rica was terrifying! I lost Tucker in a clothing rack once at a mall – like you said, it was probably for three minutes but it felt like days! I like the one word thing much more than resolutions, too, although I probably should make some that I’ll keep…January 8, 2016 – 1:46 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - What a great choice for a word! I love the questions and “why” is something we work on with Zilla a lot. I probably need to do it for myself more. Thinking about the reasons behind our own actions and sometimes the actions of others is a big part of understanding behavior.
    Now I have to go finish my post…January 7, 2016 – 10:48 pmReplyCancel

    • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - Argh – I wasn’t finished!
      I am so glad Tucker’s OK – I think I would have freaked out in your shoes. I do that. 😀 Hug that little man so tight.January 7, 2016 – 11:35 pmReplyCancel

      • Kristi Campbell - Um I freaked out a little bit, Lisa! Luckily, he was running toward me really quickly… not sure what I’d have done if he’d been on a totally different route. Wait there? Drive to school? Drive around? UGH. Scary!January 8, 2016 – 2:02 pmReplyCancel

        • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - Yes, that part is terrifying – luckily it didn’t happen. Probably a good time to put that contingency plan in place, right? Just in case…and hopefully you never need it. So did the school/bus company have any answers about how and why that even happened?January 8, 2016 – 3:33 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I think you’re right Lisa – that thinking about why we do things helps. The good and the bad. Hopefully, asking why more will cause positive change. xoJanuary 8, 2016 – 1:47 pmReplyCancel

  • Julie S. - This is so brilliant! I love that you are asking yourself and challenging yourself as your word. What a great choice and great 6 reasons.January 8, 2016 – 12:20 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Julie! I hope I’ll remember to question things regularly all year long!January 8, 2016 – 2:01 pmReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - I love your questions go why and think I need to ask them a bit more here myself. On a side note, I had Lily not come off the bus just yesterday. My mom actually went to get both girls off the bus and apparently Lily couldn’t get her seat belt unbuckled as her gloves were on. So the bus driver pulled away without realizing. She circled the corner and came back, but poor Lily was left in tears. Took a lot of promising that it wouldn’t ever happen to her again, but totally broke my heart. But sorry for the ramble and just what I thought of with your lead in. Happy New Year, Kristi and linked up with my word of the year now post, too!January 8, 2016 – 3:09 amReplyCancel

  • JT Walters - I think writing is a self stimulatory behavior that soothes the person writing. I don’t have a word…except “incomprehensible” which is how I would describe my life before son if I had known what my life would be like after son in both incredibly inspiring and generous and sometimes really horrific ways.January 8, 2016 – 3:45 amReplyCancel

  • Mardra Sikora - Ok First – HOLY CRAP. My heart raced with yours. I’d be asking quite a few WHY’s and How’s about this at the school. Annnnd – back to the word. Why is a very good year word – what a quest for awareness this will be. I hope you share more of the WHY Journey as you discover it.January 8, 2016 – 4:16 amReplyCancel

  • Kathy Tyson - Great word!!! I think mine may be “pause.” Lots of reasons … Thanks for another beautifully thoughtful essay. So glad you are a writer.January 8, 2016 – 4:23 amReplyCancel

  • Ruchira Khanna - jeez! that was scary to take the wrong bus..thank goodness he came in your arms. xoxo

    I liked your question/word of the year, WHY
    This word just three letters has so much power if introspected upon.

    HNY Kristi and may you live 2059 and beyond!!January 8, 2016 – 5:05 amReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Rogers - I hope that the school and the bus organiser people have some damn good answers about what happened and (more importantly) what they’re going to do in future to prevent it happening again.

    “…spidering from school to the unknowns, or to all the sort-of-knowns…” DELICIOUS. Love your words.

    Why, mizz Kristi, I do believe you may have found a great word to take you forward into 2016, though I hope you don’t find the internal questioning too frustrating! Perhaps it’s a word I’d do well to ask myself more often. Here’s to greater insight, better explanations (or more robust excuses), and a great year.January 8, 2016 – 7:08 amReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - Great word because even as adults don’t we still ask this all the time of everything? Stuff I don’t know the answer too STILL.

    LOL I have learned that craving most anything is because you are thirsty. Have I learned FROM that yet? Nope! I shall go get some water now.

    Yeah and um WHY do I have to deal with bad breath???

    Anyway BRILLIANT!

    And so sorry you had that moment with a lost Tucker. That’s only happened to me once and he did stay behind. I just forgot.January 8, 2016 – 7:58 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Ok ok don’t deal with bad breath 🙂 and yeah, I still don’t know the answers to a ton of stuff but I hope I ask myself why I’m doing what I’m doing more. I think I tend to withdraw and veg out when I don’t want to deal with something which just makes it worse. Plus, it’s not good to binge on Netflix right? 😉
      And yeah, the lost Tucker was pretty horrible while it lasted. I feel so so lucky that he was on a route that he knew and that the stop was in running distance to his regular one. Yikes. I’m glad to know that it only happened to you once. Hopefully this is our one and done!January 8, 2016 – 2:05 pmReplyCancel

  • Echo - I love this so much! There is never a shortage of why in my life, LOL!

    Oh man, I had a transportation company drive my son to his program for the first time and I was a NERVOUS wreck! I called at EXACTLY 9:15 to make sure he checked in!January 8, 2016 – 12:23 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I’m so so glad to know that you called at exactly 9:15 to check! Reminds me of the first time my son went on a field trip. I followed the bus. Gah. This was scary though yesterday – thank God it was a route similar to ours and he knew where he was!!January 8, 2016 – 2:14 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ Golden Spoons - That’s a great word! I think we should all think a little more about the “why’s” sometimes instead of just going through the motions.January 8, 2016 – 12:31 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I think so too, Lisa. Like why do I avoid doing some things around the house that I know I’ll be really happy about having done? I try to blame Netflix but think it’s me…January 8, 2016 – 2:15 pmReplyCancel

  • Jamie - Can i just say that I love your writing. So very very much. Why is an incredible word. An applying as you are “Why am I doing this?” “Why am I fearful?” “Why does this make me CRAZY?” “Why do I love my child so?” these questions can only help us discover who we are right now. Not what we were. Not who we want to be. Not who we think we should be. xoxoxo Hears to a wonderful year of self-discovery.January 8, 2016 – 1:45 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you Jamie! Your encouragement means so so much to me. I appreciate it. And I agree that WHY is an incredible word, full of power and the ability to help us to really look at our patterns, when we’re hiding, escaping, and when we’re present and involved. Here’s to great 2016 for each of us!January 8, 2016 – 2:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - Was Tucker originally in that picture???January 8, 2016 – 2:54 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - No. But I thought it was weird to use a kid from Canva when I have a million of my own kid and I didn’t want anybody to think it was him! LOLJanuary 8, 2016 – 3:19 pmReplyCancel

      • Kenya G. Johnson - Oh I knew it wasn’t here. Not only did it not look like him but he had 80’s hair. Like the little boy from Who’s the Boss.January 8, 2016 – 3:52 pmReplyCancel

  • Valerie Newman - Kristi, I love your post. Why is a wonderful word, and I’m so glad Tucker was safe and in your arms after a short time. And why is a question, as a mother of a six-year-old, that you answer for your son lots.January 8, 2016 – 5:29 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - It’s the most perfect word. Wow. Never even occurred to me.
    Why. So many reasons why and why not.
    And that story! Breaks the heart. I’m so glad all is well. I’m sure the image of his tear-stained face will stay with you!January 8, 2016 – 11:05 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks Tamara! Yeah, the story wasn’t the best but at least it had a super happy ending. And some good lessons for us and for the school. Thanks for liking my word of the year!January 10, 2016 – 6:14 pmReplyCancel

  • Roshni AaMom - Oh my goodness! How terrifying those moments must have been! Great choice of a word! I could never figure this one out of what a word for the whole year could be, mainly because I am quite certain I wouldn’t even remember it half the time!January 8, 2016 – 11:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Ripped Jeans & Bifocals - Beautiful storytelling as always my dear friend. I don’t know the answer to all the why’s, either but I love the way you ask the quesitons. And SO SCARY! I cannot even imagine.January 9, 2016 – 4:11 amReplyCancel

  • Christine Carter - OH Kristi!! That must have been TERRIFYING!! Oh my gosh, that poor Tucker! My friend had a nightmare bus story about her little girl reading on the bus and missed her stop. The driver ended the route and went to park the bus in the big lot with all the other buses and she was STILL ON IT. You know she was that kind of little reader that stayed so focused, she didn’t tune into anything around her. Yeah- she was left on an empty bus in the parking lot. Can you imagine? My friend was a HOT MESS looking for her!

    Anyhoo- I’m so glad he’s okay. Don’t they monitor that stuff at school? Who goes on what bus? I bet you will be making sure now!

    Yes to the Why word. OH YES. I love that so so much. I need to take this in and honestly ask myself “Why” too…

    (I linked up! I REMEMBERED!)January 9, 2016 – 5:40 amReplyCancel

  • Anna Fitfunner - Happy New Year! We just a version of your bus drama, but my oldest (who is on the autism spectrum). We hadn’t quite signed him up for a particular after-school program — but a teacher sent him anyway. I know that my son was probably telling everyone that he was supposed to come straight home. But one of the difficulties of being a special needs kid is that adults sometimes don’t listen as carefully as they ought to.

    Glad that you found Tucker. I admit that I never had the courage to put either of my boys on the bus when they were 6. So kudos to Tucker for being grown up enough to finding his way on his own. That’s great!

    FWIW, “why” is a great word choice, and the questions that you ask yourself are really helpful when we write!January 9, 2016 – 9:45 amReplyCancel

  • Julie Martinka Severson - Great word! Why am I sitting in my car in the parking lot of Cub Foods reading blog posts when I should be grocery shopping? Because I need to connect with wonderful people like you who ask Why? and then, like me, have a compulsion to write down the meanderings in mind and heart that come about as a result. Once again, thank you Kristi.January 9, 2016 – 5:08 pmReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Hall - Well, as long as you’re asking yourself why….I say that cuz I’m a big why asker myself, but when I ask why of others too much, they get annoyed. 🙂January 9, 2016 – 6:47 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - LOL to others getting annoyed when you ask why, Jen! I picture it almost like a toddler you know? The WHY? 😉January 10, 2016 – 6:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa Moskowitz Sadikman - My heart was thumping reading about Tucker getting on the wrong bus! I’m SO glad he’s okay and safe. Your word is awesome and really leads to so much more when you ask it, right? Such a good exercise. I’m still thinking about my word. I’ve almost got it but not sure I’ll have written about it in time for FTSF. xoJanuary 10, 2016 – 7:04 amReplyCancel

  • Sandra - Why? Best word of the year I’ve read so far. It’s perfect. I thought of participating in this and my words were the common ones like ‘health,’ ‘life,’ and I also had ‘acceptance.’ I would probably go with ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ but I had to Google the spelling and the meaning so then I was like, “Maybe not.”January 11, 2016 – 12:30 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Sandra, you’re SO kind. Thank you and now I have to google supercalifragilisticexpialidocious… Ok I googled it and am still confused. Maybe your “maybe not” was wise. xoJanuary 18, 2016 – 5:14 pmReplyCancel

  • Mimi - Kristi, I totally adored this! From the heart wrenching story at the start, goodness you and T must have had quite the scare, to the thoughtful and amazing questions at the end. Thank you for reminding us how important it is to ask why? xoJanuary 12, 2016 – 12:34 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you Mimi! Yeah, the scare was pretty intense. I still worry about it but have spoken to the school and transportation etc. Hopefully the bus monitors will be talked to about making sure to ask a kid if he’s on the right bus if it’s somebody they don’t see everyday.January 18, 2016 – 5:20 pmReplyCancel

  • Linda Atwell - Out One Ear - Why is an excellent word Krsiti! For some of the same reasons listed above, I could be asking myself why a lot more.

    BTW, I would be freaking out if the school/school bus lost my kid. I’m sure I’ve buried some memory of one of the kids getting lost–possibly at the mall, but I do know that for those moments, the feelings were excruciating. I’m so glad it was resolved quickly.January 14, 2016 – 7:00 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Hi Linda!
      Yeah, three minutes feels like a lifetime when panicking intensely but we really were lucky. That the bus he got on was on the same route with a stop so close by is pretty incredible really, considering the number of busses that go all over the place! Yikes though…January 18, 2016 – 5:22 pmReplyCancel

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