Kids and Keys

Another milestone tackled by my eight year old just now.  For the first time ever (not for lack of trying), he opened the door to our home all by himself. WOOT!  He is very proud of himself.  I am proud of him, too.

Not my actual keys, so don't be thinking you're all clever and try and make a 3D repro of these bad boys.
Not my actual keys, so don’t be thinking you’re clever and try and make a 3D repro of these bad boys.

It might seem crazy, but I recognize each and every one of my kids’ milestones.  When one of your children is no longer with you, it’s hard to take anything for granted.  So, yes, today it was unlocking the door all by himself.  That’s pretty dang cool.  Better yet, it was earned.  The boy has been trying to turn the keys properly for a few months now.  They stick a bit and you have to jiggle them just so to unlock the door.  Most every attempt has ended in a cloud of loud frustration.

But not today, Satan, not today.

I love seeing my children succeed, conquer, grow up.  The little guy is still working on that toilet beast, but he’ll get there (hopefully before September when his preschool has made it clear he must).  These little stepping stones, placed on top of one another, grow higher and higher and higher until someday, when I am old and gray, no doubt, these boys will fly the coop.

It’s hard to imagine it, because my first thought watching my boy’s joy when the key finally turned in his hand was way, way back in the memory files.  My Mom went to work when I was in second grade, the age my kiddo is now.  My brother and I went to different schools that year and I got home earlier than he did.  I was one of those often talked about and dithered over “latchkey” kiddos.  And, just to prove the stereotype right, I wore my key on a red and yellow lanyard around my neck.  I tried to hide it under my Peter Pan-collared uniform blouse, as I felt shame that my Mom worked.  The 70s were no joke, my young Millennial friends.

I always had a hard time opening the lock to my childhood home, too.  My neighbor, an older boy, would very kindly unlock the door for me.  It was a proud day for me, too, like my son, when I could open that sucker independently.

The older I get, the more time toys with me.  I think about it a lot these days.  How I was just an eight year old girl a few weeks ago and how I will have just crossed the 60 year old threshold when my youngest boy graduates from high school.  I mean, come on, time is one crazy son of a gun.

But today is today, and my son is eight, and he just cracked another code on the rode to independence.  Someday, simultaneously soon and far, far away, may he remember this day himself, as his own child unlocks that first lock.

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