Wink, Wink: Wonder Why Kids Defy the Uniformity of Nature?
As if parenting wasn’t challenging enough, the system design is flawed; at least by manufacturing standards where quality replication is the goal. One could even argue that parenting defies the Uniformity of Nature principle which states that identical antecedent states or causes are uniformly followed by identical effects; in other words given similar inputs, the past will hold for the present and future as well.
If we follow these efficiency principles and scientific theories, then one could surmise that if the same two parents produce and raise multiple children, then theoretically there should be predictable outcomes for each. Yes, they inevitably grow up to be adults. That is predictable.
While I might agree that at times, experience as a parent helps discern a potential lie or sniff out a challenge to come, the reality is that no two kids are the same; okay, maybe identical twins, but even those kids each have independent thoughts.
In my own family it manifests something like this. Number 1 is a talker and agrees to have a conversation. Number 2, on the other hand is very introspective, which requires the parent – me – to draw from a different tool bag to engage in an exchange of ideas. Number 3 embraces the avoidance technique, almost performing at master’s degree level; as a parent I have had to enhance my observer and sleuthing skills. Number 4 displays a little of all the other traits and adds his own inquisitive nature, which yet again means I need to enhance my adapting skills.
Four kids, produced/manufactured/made by the same mom and dad, and each a unique human being by design. This means the family systems – house rules, values and expectations – may be the same, but the kids will react and respond in different ways. Uggghh! Not only are there no written quality-audit, family-management standards; we parents have to adapt on the fly to each child’s uniqueness.
This is not a complaint. It is recognition that this job, parenting, is tough and rewarding at the same time. You can love your child and want to ground him forever in a matter of seconds. She can break your heart and melt it within the same sentence, or maybe paragraph. Number 1 can say something that makes you cry, while Number 3 can say the same thing that makes you laugh.
We humans, including parents, like the idea of predictability. The Uniformity of Nature gives us comfort. The reality of life, however, teaches us to embrace the ZagZig that is.
God’s design defies Systems Design. In our family, we embrace the concept of Squire Rushnell’s book, When God Winks. Whether you are faith-based like our family or searching for meaning, Rushnell says a Godwink is when you say, “Wow, what are the odds of that!” He goes on to explain that when someone winks at you, you don’t need to ask what it means; it is a symbol of "you are not alone, I’ve got your back."
In our family, we take it one step further, like the V-8 tomato juice commercials where the person gets a knock on the head, when he realizes, after the fact, that he should have had a V-8. Godwinks instances are those times when we reflect on a situation or heat of the moment and have that ah-ha realization that God is smiling right now, because we just got it.
And the “it,” in this case, is that we parents get the awesome opportunity to be part of formulating and cultivating unique people who will share their respective talents with the world. In the heat of an argument or a systems adjustment or a move that defies our parenting logic, we might ignore that wink.
When we take time to breathe and laugh at ourselves, however, we see HIS plan unfold and we appreciate the uniqueness of individual gifts. Ultimately, we celebrate that in nature, uniformity does not exists in that no two flowers, mountains or sunsets are exactly alike, and we awe at the beauty these distinct elements make when they stand together.
Double wink. Enjoy the ZagZig!