I just wanted a peek.
As I pushed my toddler in his stroller around our new neighborhood, I noticed a crowded parking lot at the elementary school. On a Saturday, what goings-on would beckon kids to go to school? Being curious, we navigated toward the doors.
Truthfully, part of me felt a tinge of excitement that I found a reason to peek inside the place where my son would eventually attend school. Not yet, of course. Still a few years off. But, I could catch a glimpse of the next milestone.
I opened the door and gazed around. The PTA fun fair was taking place. So this is what it looks like. I took it all in. The energy. The sight of children scampering between friends. The brightly colored trim on the painted cement walls. The inspiring slogans that drew my eyes to the central hallway leading to the classrooms.
I saw the desire in his eyes to join the community. But we didn't. He wasn't ready and neither was I. I just wanted a peek. Steering the stroller in a u-turn, we made our way back out the door.
It feels like that moment happened recently. But it didn't. In fact, our peek happened 18 years ago. He attended that school. And the intermediate school. And the junior high. And high school.
Thirteen years of school (plus two years of community college) done in a blink.
How did that happen?
Every parent reflects on the twilight zone moments of parenting. How do the days appear so long and the years short? How do you find yourself surprised by the quick pace of scheduling the rituals of senior year when you have known about them coming for nearly thirteen years?
Finding peace in that tension between enjoying a peek and trying to be fully prepared for the transitions in your child's life can be a challenge. Yet, comfort can be found in the reminder that our children are not ours completely. God is fully aware of who they are and where they need to go. We are blessed to help steer them and get peeks into those milestones along the way.
Even Mary was aware of her role.
"So he went back to Nazareth with them, and lived obediently with them. His mother held these things dearly, deep within herself. And Jesus matured, growing up in both body and spirit, blessed by both God and people." Luke 2:51-52.
I will be thankful for the peeks; finding comfort that God sees the whole view.