They say you don’t miss something until it’s gone. Today we sit in our homes under restrictions from the government. We hunker down with our Netflix and our homeschool and our travels that lead us no further than the backyard. We watch the stories pouring out of bigger towns and wonder when the bad news will pass, when we can stop worrying about whether or when this virus is going to hit our community.
In these days, I miss the sense of security I had when I stopped and chatted with friends. I miss the freedom to go places and do things, to see the inside of stores and restaurants, to watch my kids play sports and perform dance recitals. I miss my church. I miss the rhythm of a school and work week. The things that I used to complain about—the busy schedule, the nonstop carpooling, the demands of a busy and boisterous church life—are all things that I now look back on sentimentally.
Yet, I see my day-to-day in this strange time, and I realize a few things. I realize that it’s been a long time since my kids spent a whole day lying around together in the girls’ room, listening to music, drawing, building Legos, and talking about whatever comes to their minds. I realize that it’s been awhile since I had hours at a time to play board games, ride bikes, have long and lazy conversations with my kids. I am beginning to understand how very much I have missed in all the busy-ness and how much we needed a slow-down, even if the circumstances are extreme. For now, we are healthy and happy and soaking up each day, and I have a new awareness of how special each hour together really is.
So, I guess the reality is that I failed to be thankful for all of the things that we are normally able to do. For all of the fun and challenging opportunities that my kids have, thanks to our great schools and our wonderful church. I took for granted the freedoms that we usually enjoy. I didn’t appreciate the lunches with friends, the trips to the mall, the fun church activities.
And when this is all said and done and we come out strong on the other side, I have a feeling that I will long for days like today, when I thrilled my kids with snickerdoodle cookies and played clinic with my seven year old. When Chad sat in the middle of the house writing a sermon instead of being elsewhere, working late into the night. When I could hear the kids’ laughter ringing out as they watched an old television program full of prat falls and gags. Yes, I will miss these days.
I’m not sure what the future of this pandemic holds. But I do know that in many ways it’s teaching me the art of remembering how good I really have it, in all of the seasons that God has blessed me with so far. I pray that the next weeks and months make me truly grateful, that I will praise Him through whatever comes next. He is good, and I’m going to remember that.