Yesterday was Sunday, my day off. All I really wanted to do was organize the house, grocery shop, and go for a bike ride with my family… the first ride of the season. It was a beautiful day, and I was excited to see my bike again.
It’s kind of a special bike- one of those bubble gum pink old school Electra bikes. It was the first gift Rob got me after we were married. It’s name is Happy because that’s how I feel when I ride it.
I got my chores done in the late afternoon and gathered my family. We went outside to retrieve our bikes from under the porch.
I don’t know why it hadn’t dawned on me- my bike was under the porch. It was the first ride of the season. With all of the busy in my brain, I had forgotten to put it away last fall- Happy had been outside all winter.
When I pulled the bike out, the damage was clear. The formerly pristine chrome was covered in brown rust- even the once-cheerful bell was destroyed, clanky from corrosion. I instantly began to cry. We rode to the beach, big tears plunking off my 35-year-old cheeks and onto the rusty metal.
I knew I looked insane, but I just couldn’t stop crying. I was overworked, tired, and super disappointed.
We came home, I pulled myself together, made dinner, and put the kids to bed. I went to bed early, eager to end a crappy day.
This morning, Rob had a plan. We dropped the kids at school, and he loaded my bike into the back of his truck. Without a big hoopla, Rob drove to the local bike shop, where he bought and ordered replacement parts. He got me a new bell. We brought the bike home, and he helped me polish every inch of what could be salvaged, then replaced everything else.
When we were done fixing it up, Rob told me to take it out for a ride. It rode better than it ever had before- powered by the quiet, “let me help you out” kind of love that hangs out in a family.
We all feel love uniquely. So do our partners, our kids, and our friends. Rob knows me well enough to know that I could care less about flowers on Mother’s Day or a sappy card on Valentine’s Day- he knows that when I really need to feel loved, the best way is to get out his toolbox and make something better.
The best investment we can make in our family and relationships is learning, and living through, the ways our loved ones FEEL love.