One of my favorite times of the day is when I get to put my daughters to bed. After they’ve had their bath, after their pajamas are on, and after their teeth and hair are brushed, I get to snuggle up next to them and read them stories. Some nights the stories are silly, and other nights they are a little more serious and include a lesson to be learned or a moral—we like to mix it up. But it is the time after we are done reading that is truly magical; it is what I most look forward to in our nightly rituals. In these quiet moments in the otherwise loud lives of a 4.5-year-old and a 21-month-old, I like to ask them questions about their days. Some of my choice picks are: “What was your favorite part of today?” “Did you do anything today that made you feel proud?” “Did you do something nice for anyone today?” The key is making the questions open-ended so that they have to think and formulate their own answers. (As you can imagine, I get simpler answers from the younger and more complex from the elder.)
I love the dynamic that the nightly quiet time with my girls creates. It enforces the fact that I value their thoughts and feelings, and it gives them a platform to learn how to express themselves with words. I also love the fact that it allows me a glimpse into the world through their eyes. It was this thought that brought to mind the idea for the July/August cover focus: 20 Questions. Could I fashion a list of open-ended questions that would allow me and other readers to see the world through the eyes of some of the world’s best and brightest ophthalmologists? I think so, but I’d rather you be the judge.
The moments I share with my daughters each night are precious, I know that. I also know that, someday, they probably won’t want to answer my questions about their days—or at least won’t answer as willingly. So for the time being, I am going to continue listening to their responses with wonder.
—Laura Straub, Editor-in-Chief