Tina Knowles-Lawson is grateful for hugs.
After isolating amid the COVID-19 pandemic and avoiding contact with others, Knowles-Lawson says hugging people now gives her a shock to the system.
“I’m way more appreciative of seeing friends and being able to hug somebody. When I get a hug, it’s like a shock to my arm because you know, for so long we couldn’t hug people, couldn’t touch them,” Knowles-Lawson, 67, told PEOPLE (the TV Show!) at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards Sunday night.
“And other than my immediate family, I didn’t see anybody for probably nine months,” she added. “So I’m appreciating being able to reach out and touch people. And I also appreciate what kind of great life we had. We didn’t really know it because we took it for granted. But you know, this is amazing to be able to come out and be around— this is my first time being around people.”
The fashion designer and businesswoman, who is the mom of superstar Beyoncé, also said she had a “beautiful” Mother’s Day with her family earlier this month. “My family, we’ve all been vaccinated, and we got together and partied and had a great time. So, you know, we didn’t miss a beat on Mother’s Day,” she shared.
Last year, Knowles-Lawson spoke to PEOPLE about how she was dealing with being away from her family amid the pandemic, explaining that she called or FaceTimed with her grandkids — including Beyoncé’s daughter, Blue Ivy, 9, and 3½-year-old twins, Sir and Rumi — “every day.”
“Up until about six weeks ago, I was seeing them every day because we all got tested and we weren’t in contact with anyone, so I got to go over there every day. So when they left it was like withdrawal,” Knowles-Lawson said at the time. “And my oldest granddaughter told her mom, ‘Grandma is hugging us too much,’ when I first went around them. Because you just wanna touch ’em and you wanna hug ’em, so I’m going through that.”
We’re finally approaching the end of this COVID-19 madness and it feels great!