My son, Ariel, was recently moving from the top floor of one walk-up to the top floor of another walk-up. Among some of the things we had to take from one apartment to the next were a queen bed, a dresser, some clothes, and other things one generally has when living on their own.
Of course, moving all of these items down from the first walk-up was fairly easy. From there, we put them in a van and drove them to his new home. The issue surfaced as we arrived at the new place, which is when we were required to take all of his belongings up four stories.
If you’ve ever watched Friends, then maybe you’ve seen the episode where Ross, Chandler, and Rachel are moving a sofa up a narrow staircase, getting stuck at the landing, which is when Ross yells, “Pivot!” Well, that’s kind of how Ariel and I looked because his new stairway was set up in much the same way.
There we were, me on the bottom pushing and he on the top pulling this queen-sized bed up each flight of stairs before twisting it the best we could at each landing, turning it to the right in order to head up the next set of steps. To say that it was hard work is an understatement.
We were half crying, the sweat sliding down our faces, doing our best to go from the bottom set of stairs to the top. He’s pulling and I’m pushing, both of us wondering if we were ever going to get that thing to his bedroom, where I’m pretty sure we would have both liked to lie down for a nap.
Was it hard? Yes. Could we have gotten movers? Yes. But I can also say that it’s an experience that we’ll always remember. We reminisce about it and it’s something we’ll always share.
Although it was truly some of the most strenuous work I’ve ever done, if I had to do it all over again, I’d still decide to grunt my way to the top with my son. Why? Because the experience is where the beauty is. Ariel and I will always have that bond, that day on the stairwell when we somehow made it happen.
Besides, have you ever noticed that it’s in the struggles where we grow the most? When faced with something that really challenges us, that’s when we realize how strong we truly are. That’s when we find out that we can endure and overcome more than we ever thought possible.
In this case, the strength required to get that bed from one place to the next was twofold. It took physical strength, of course, but it also took some mental fortitude as well. It involved telling ourselves—and each other—that we could make it to the top. That we would make it to the top.
Going through hard times with the people we love is especially beautiful because it draws us closer together. It strengthens our bond in a way that makes our relationship even more unbreakable, more enduring than it was before. It gives us a common platform in which we each understand exactly how the other feels because we were in it together.
A lot of people like to avoid difficult times because of the hardships they present, but the reality is that struggles can be beautiful too. Especially when you share them with those you love, and those who love you.