Saturday, November 19, 2016

Let Me Tell You A Story

Once upon a time, a family went out for ice-cream cones after dinner. It was at a roadside stand on a farm, where the ice-cream was homemade and delicious! Everyone picked out their very favorite kind, including a little girl who was about 8 or 9 years old. The cones were handed out and the family settled down on the grass to enjoy their dessert.

When the little girl wiggled, as little girls sometimes do, her very large, very top heavy ice-cream toppled off her cone…straight into the dirt. As the little girl sat there, staring at her now destroyed treat, tears started welling up in her eyes. Without even a thought, the little girl’s mother handed over her very large, very yummy ice-cream cone to her daughter.  She did not get another ice-cream cone, she just watched her daughter’s smile return. And that was enough.
That little girl was me.

Childhood is a funny thing. Sometimes, what should be a very prominent memory is blocked out, for various reasons. Other times, some memories stick, for no apparent reason, other than to pop up from time to time.
That ice-cream memory is one that has stuck with me for years. I can remember, clear as day, that open blue sky, the green grass tickling my legs and the wooden fence posts around the dirt parking lot. The memory comes back from time to time; sometimes randomly, other times because I’m eating ice-cream or a sno-cone outside. I always remember it fondly and smile, now knowing that that is  what sacrifice looks like, as a parent.

Tonight, it came back for an entirely different reason.
Some of my children have busier social lives than others. I am constantly waiting up on weekend nights, to pick one up here or one up there, before I can finally retire to bed, exhausted. Tonight was no exception. Except that tonight, I was craving ice-cream like crazy! Lack of sleep and a long day of soccer and running errands had me wanting something I normally don't crave at all!

I walked into the TV room where my youngest two sat, curled up in a blanket, watching TV.
“Do you guys want to go, or stay?” I asked.
“Where are you going?” Luke questioned.
“Do you want to go, or stay?” I asked again.
“Are you going to get Ryleigh?” Luke said.
“Okay. I guess you are staying. Be right back!” I said to him and Peanut, as I walked out the garage door.

Bailey and I quickly headed to a local fast food place to get shakes (Warren’s…if you’ve never been, you’re missing out!) and discussed what flavors to surprise the other two with. I decided on brownie cookie dough for me, because…well…it sounded chunky and yummy. I had about an hour before I needed to pick up Roo and Avery, so I didn’t worry about grabbing my little socialites one.
On the way home, I told Bai that it would be funny to walk in with just our shakes; letting the younger two believe that because they chose not to come, they didn’t get one at all. I wouldn’t let it play out long…but long enough to disappoint them just a little bit. (Mommy revenge comes in all forms, I suppose.)  ;)

Carrying my chunky and yummy shake, that I was so excited to eat, I flung open the garage door, waiting for the reactions of my Littles.

Nothing.

As my eyes adjusted to the dim light, I looked around…one kid lump under a blanket…two kid lump under a blanket…THREE kid lump under a blanket.
Avery had been dropped off early by her friend’s mom. *insert audible gasp here*

So, I did what any mother would have done. I reached behind me, to the other shakes sitting in their holder on the hood of the Envoy, plucked my shake in next to the other two, turned around and announced, “I have ice-cream for you guys! I hope I picked flavors you will like!”
After a chorus of excited “thank yous”, they scurried off with their loot. Peanut with her cookie dough shake, Luke with his mocha shake…and Avery with my brownie cookie dough shake.

I made my way upstairs, smiling to myself, remembering a happy little girl on a hot summer’s day and another mother who went without an ice-cream, that she really wanted.
Thanks, Mom. ♥