My youngest son has a fascination with two specific keys from my laptop; Control and Shift. He has such a fascination that he would repeatedly take them off my laptop, walk up to me and say “here go” as if he was presenting me with something very special indeed.
No, it really didn’t matter how many times I would put them back on my laptop, he’d simply sit at it with intense concentration as he slowly worked his tiny fingernail underneath each one just enough to pop it off again. From a literal point of view they are just two simple keys.
But while I was trying to explain to the guy that worked in the Geek Squad at Best Buy why it didn’t matter if they wouldn’t replace those two keys (my son knows where they are, and with how much they seem to matter to him, I didn’t bother to pop them back on when I brought my lap top in for repairs) He looked at me, and said, “So it’s specifically the Control and Shift keys, hmm, I wonder what is so special about them” and to be honest I hadn’t really thought about it. I had simply smiled every time my son produced them and said thank-you and showed him how I would put them back onto my keyboard so I could use it.
But the idea had been planted, and for about a week it slowly circled around and around in my brain. WHAT was it about those two keys?
From an artistic point of view one is an arrow pointing up, perhaps: Control Up, or Up Control. If he was telling me to give up control for I didn’t really have it, he in fact had it and could randomly change the neat order I’d put things into, take control and change it all any time he so desired well he’s right. I did think when I first started to have children that I could control situations, outcomes, in essence people. Not cruelly, or with malice intended but I thought parenting was much like cooking, follow a specific pattern, and receive the same results every time, even with new ingredients. Then I learned from my eldest that I was so far off with that idea that I actually giggle thinking back on it now.
My children are capable of taking the order I have placed things in and re-arranging it completely whenever they feel the need to do so. I’m not talking about physical things, (although clearly this post was sparked by that exact action initially) but emotional, spiritual, mental, & social.
The way I parent my children is based on what I feel in each specific situation is best for that specific child. It may or may not resemble how I dealt with an almost identical situation with a different child previously. Why? Because each child’s reasoning for their actions is different, and the core of each situation needs to be addressed, not just the “window dressing” that outsiders see.
I have let go of my need to control situations, and instead I try my best to flow with my children, for I am blessed to be a part of their worlds whenever they let me in.
My perceptions have taken a drastic shift in regards to children, parenting, and even about what unconditional love truly means as I strive to be the best mom I can for my wee ones.
I now realize that somethings aren’t needed the way we thought they would be, and that some things we never knew we’d need are of utmost importance, like the ability to be still.
I don’t know why those two keys are so important to him, or really what they mean to him, if anything specific at all, but I know what they symbolize to me.