When Lindsay was so attached to me the last weekend we were together, there were many interesting aspects to her clinging. Every time I took her to see a new dog, she pointed at it. She was eleven months old. Even though she was pointing at the dog, she wasn’t satisfied until I was pointing too. She’d grab my hand and push it forward. She was satisfied when I pointed at the dog. Even away from dogs, like walking around in a store, Lindsay would want me to hold her and then she’d want me to point.
In talking it over, we concluded that Lindsay liked the way that I handled her first extensive experience with a dog. It was with our dog, Ellie. Whenever I wanted Ellie to sit or stay, I would point my finger at her, often times after snapping my finger to get her attention. Each time Lindsay came over to Ellie I would hold my finger up because Ellie would naturally want to wonder off from a kid who is sticking her finger in Ellie’s nose, grabbing Ellie’s lips, poking Ellie in the side, and flipping Ellie’s ears!! Ellie would often look into my eyes as if to ask if I had control of this kid.
Ironically, I think that is what the pointing represents to Lindsay. She wants to make sure there is control of the dogs she is going to be around. When we were at the race in Beaufort, SC., Lindsay walked up to a dog with her finger pointing. I don’t think she was just pointing at the cute little doggie; I think she wanted the dog to be under control. The same is true with pointing in the store. She didn’t want me to just point at all the stuff. I think she just liked me keeping order in the world around her. I think pointing gave her a sense of order.
Each week we interact with Lindsay and her parents via the computer video program called Skype. It’s amazing how Lindsay reacts to us on the computer screen. She waves to us and claps in response to our clapping, etc. She also often points when she talks to me or if I point first. Yet, during the hour or so that we talk on Skype at a time, we inevitably see Lindsay try to get in a drawer she’s not supposed to get in or grab something that is supposed to be left alone. Sometimes we see her look back at her parents to see if they are watching before she does a forbidden act. From a grandparent’s perspective, it is very cute!! The point is though that for as much as Lindsay likes order in parts of her world she’s not totally comfortable in, she doesn’t mind seeking a little chaos (doing something wrong) in the world she is very familiar with. Parental correction brings order back to her world. It’s fascinating to see Lindsay sometimes point after being told “no.”
The interesting thing to me is the display of the human condition: We all need and yearn for order in our lives but we naturally tempt chaos. We like to live on the edge. Just like if the speed limit is 70, most of us drive at least 73 or 74. Whatever the limit is in life, we push it a little. Yet, if someone zooms by us at 85 miles per hour, we feel uncomfortable. There is a “point” at which we want order.
Even though we earnestly desire order, we are never far away from creating chaos. While there is a point at which we all want order, Lindsay likes to point to get order. It kind of reminds me of how God points the way for man to have peace and order with him in our lives. Too often though, we just don’t get the “point.” Instead, we live in the chaos of our own ways.