Turning another corner
“We walk by faith, and not by sight
no gracious words we hear
from him who spoke as none e’er spoke;
but we believe him near.“
I’m not a religious person, but the opening line to that old hymn, written by Henry Alford, sprang to mind when I saw this picture among those I snapped as Mike and I walked Owen to his first day of preschool today. It fits the multiple layers that this image itself doesn’t reveal.
We walk by faith
- There’s Owen, of course, heading to what appears to be a dead-end. (Really, you hang a right at the lockers and his classroom is right there.) He can’t see it, but he keeps going, remembering he was there before, trusting he’ll get there again.
- There’s invisible us, also trusting that this – preschool – is going to work out. Sending him was a last-minute decision, official only since Saturday. We’re pushing the bathroom independence policy, hoping the peer examples will put him over the hump in achieving this milestone – but risking it could also backfire.
But not by sight
- In the bigger picture, flying blind sums up parenthood. Pre-kids, we were both used to simple, logical problem-solving: Identify issue. Research solutions. Choose one. Move on. The first few days of colic were the rocks upon which the efficacy of that tactic was dashed. Nearly four years on, while some instincts have been refined and experience has taught us a thing or two, blind corners still abound.
No gracious words
- That’s putting it mildly. Owen’s year of being three has been a tough one. Fuhgeddabout terrible twos – three’s where the trouble started for us. Normal toddler issues were exacerbated by sister Audrey’s birth a year ago. We’ve had a lot of raised voices – his and ours – the past year. But we have faith that this phase is nearing its end (17 days to his fourth birthday, but who’s counting?)
We believe him near
- Owen’s school is very close to my workplace. I can look out my building and see the playground. But more than that physical proximity, that line echoes how near he is in my thoughts, my heart and my prayers.
In the future, I hope that when Owen sees this photo, he remembers how near we were, too. Just a couple steps behind, letting him lead, at his own pace.
Good luck, buddy. Mommy and Daddy love you.