A couple of weeks ago I was downtown, hands full of semi heavy photography gear, mind on a million things, when I caught a glimpse of a boy on a bike in the parking lot across from me.
A boy on a bike.
Simple, not really notable.
Except that it was to me in that moment.
He had on a red shirt and glasses. He looked like he was about 10 years old. His hair was dark brown and cut short. I did not know him at all, but he looked very similar to my K. In fact, if you took away the braces on K's feet, the more narrow head with the bump on the left side that is his shunt - he would have looked almost exactly like this kid riding his bike in front of me.
And that's what got me. Stripped away of the things we didn't expect from our parenting adventure,
without the things that happened to K on account of his premature birth - this could have been him.
Of course these are the kinds of emotional moments you never plan for and that hit you in surprising ways. My tripod, soft box, and camera bag were taking a toll on my arms as I just stood there staring (bad manners…I know. Scary camera lady gawking at little people), but I didn't feel them at all.
I don't ever want to change my little man. But I can't lie and say that there are never moments that little thoughts don't flutter around my brain about what things would have been like if my first pregnancy would have gone full term.
I'm used to who he is, I love and accept who he is, and I do not compare him. Because of that, I am often taken quite by surprise when I am around other 10 year olds.
This boy on his bike was riding as fast as he could, whipping around corners, laughing with a couple of friends. I finally disengaged myself from scary camera lady mode, and began to load my gear into my van. On the way home I made a mental list (because texting while driving would add to the driving record I started that same week) of all of the ways that K has made my life better. Most of the things on my list would not be there if he had been born full term.
It's like - if parenthood were an airplane, my ticket was for "full term sweet baby" and half way there I realized, with an icy cold fear in my heart, that I was headed straight for "micro preemie babies & lifelong special needs" and I panicked. I knew nothing of this place and "Could you please just turn the plane around?!"
But there in Micro-preemie-ville I found who I was created to be. Crazy, huh?
In so many other ways, I feel like we are back on a plane. This time God has once again changed the trajectory of our journey. Only this time we see the clouds out the window with no idea what we will see when the plane lands.
Do you know how we can just cozy up in our seats with smiles and enjoy the ride?? Because we see how He has never failed us before. Even when we wanted Him to turn the plane around and begged him not to hijack our happy plans. We look back on those things and we see His out-of-this-world goodness and we rejoice in His faithfulness.
Hijack away, God. You've got us.