Staying home is easier said than done, especially when you are a kid who is used to running around outside with a gang of friends. So, while flattening the curve, our author’s son is building a bike ramp in his backyard.
We’ve uttered this word countless times over the past few weeks. “Usually, I would get together with Lotta today!” “Usually, I would have gone to Pilates today.” “On a day like this, I’d normally go hiking with friends.” At present, however, normal is instead the exception. And it is certainly not easy for a gang of kids who are used to playing outside with their friends whatever the weather.
Usually, – there is that word again – Mio would meet with his best friend Paul and some other boys to go out mountain biking at least three times a week. Instead, most of the time, our son is confined to a small stretch of space – our yard. This is all the more aggravating considering that the coolest bike trails are in the forest just behind our house, and there is a fabulous dirt bike jump ramp in the neighboring village. Usually, if he were so restricted as he is at present, Mio would start to gripe, but now even children have come to realize the seriousness of the situation. While their friends are also adhering to the rules, we can see a welcome deviation from the norm, namely, that what each of us must understand is being understood.
This doesn’t mean he has mothballed his bike. Today, Mio searched under the treehouse, in the shed, in the garage, and in the tool room, gathering everything he needed to build a small bike ramp. There were blocks of wood that he had to saw to size, a stable board, screws, and a cordless drill. He spent the whole morning drawing up plans and working on his project. And then there it stood, completed – a solid ramp upon which he could now make daring jumps. The neighbors cheered him on from the street. Maybe he could soon jump over the gate? “And I thought that they wanted to complain about the noise,” Mio admits.
Typically, that is what would have happened, but at the moment, we are all delighted when we encounter a zest for life, even when it is expressed in hammering, sawing, braking sounds, and shouts of joy. In the afternoon, Mio took his ramp to the garden, which is actually one large slope. I hear his euphoric cheers over and over again, and I think the whole village is cheering with him. And then it is suddenly quiet, and my motherly brain starts to rattle: if there is anything that I really don’t want to experience right now, it is the interior of a hospital. “Everything OK?” I want to know, as Mio puts away his bike for the night. “Yeah, sure. I only just about fell into the pond. But tomorrow, I’ll jump over it!” Usually, this would make me …, but there is no “usual” just now.