Our family had one of those “have to get out of the house” moments yesterday. We have really been social distancing well and the cooler weather last week in Minnesota really does make it easier. But the sun is now shining and the weather is nicer, which, unfortunately, makes staying at home a lot harder. Anyway, this past weekend we decided we needed a family outing. The kids have been diligently researching which ice cream shops are open and we have tried to go to one each week. I know that’s not the healthiest family activity, but it sure is fun. This weekend we were able to confirm that Adele’s frozen custard shop in Minnetonka was indeed open for business, drive through only of course! So after a long day of housework and homework, we decided to throw the whole family (and I mean whole) into the minivan and head out for ice cream. Four kids, 1 puppy, a 10 year old dog and two parents all stuffed into the car. (The cat wouldn’t come, he was glad to see us leave!) We were literally like a circus on wheels. The puppy crawled all over the car looking for crumbs on the floor, which often led him to get stuck in precarious places. The old dog sat diligently in between the two front seats as though the space was made especially for him. The kids sit two and two in the middle and back rows and somehow the older college kids always end up crawling into the way back. As we pulled into the drive through line the puppy tried to hang his whole body out of the window while my son blasted music from his phone (remember he has BRIGHT PINK hair!). I wondered how many people were talking about us. We were “those” people. The ones you look at and wonder what is going on in their minds. Yep, that was us. After waiting 20 minutes we ordered our ice cream and happily drove away to find a parking spot. As we pulled into the spot I could just feel the eyes in the car next to us look over. Without hesitation the woman in the front seat said “oh look at the puppy!” And her whole family rolled down their windows to take a look. It was at that moment I realized we were not the only circus in town. Sitting in the back seat of her car were two kids, a dog and a cat! Somehow they had managed to get their whole crew in the car as well. They too, were out for a snack and a drive. They laughed as they told us about their animals and asked about ours. We counted who had more living things in their car and we laughed at each other’s stories. It was a moment to remember! We could have been our own parade!
Eventually we needed to head home so we said goodbye to our new friends and drove away. It felt good to be together. It felt good to be in this whole crazy situation – together. It felt good to be reminded of all the good around me. Sometimes the news can make me forget, and I think the whole world is sad and negative. But tonight, in a quiet parking lot in Minnetonka, two families shared stories, they shared smiles, and they shared a few laughs, none of which social distancing can take away.
The world can be pretty dark these days, and the media is fueling the fear. People are scared, and fear makes people do irrational things. It’s at times like these that it’s especially important that we show kindness to others. A smile, a hello, a wave from across the street. You have no idea how important one of these simple gestures might be for someone. Ephesians 4:32 tell us, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
May you have a blessed weekend and have eyes to see the good that is right in front you!