Late Sunday morning, my teenager was driving us home from church. I had a full docket of things I wanted to do: fold laundry, some shopping, etc. But as we pulled in the driveway, my teenager said, “Mom, we never took that bike ride. You want to do that now?”
Exercise was not on my agenda. I’d done hard workouts 7 days in a row, and my body wanted a break. Plus–obviously–I was busy.
But when a teenager asks you to spend time with him, you drop everything else. “Yes,” I said.
We did not only a full bike ride, but one that was a third longer than a full ride. My legs were crying out for mercy. But that lovely day, I remembered again how blessed I am to be suffering through this time of uncertainty and isolation in the arms of my family. I have people to touch. People to be with. Our family life is fraught with conflict, stress, anxiety, bad feelings. Too much togetherness. Infrequent and insufficient breaks from each other. An ever-shifting landscape that renders arbitrary every discernment of what social gatherings feel safe or unsafe. Kids lashing out. Kids fighting over screens. Kids fighting with each other.
And yet, I am not alone. A few weeks ago, a national reporter had a conversation with the morning show host, saying, “I haven’t touched the skin of another human being in three months.”
I knew then that having my children to hug and kiss, to cuddle on the couch, my husband to hold hands with, is a blessing I need to keep my eyes fixed upon. Because it is a big one.