Friday, April 18, 2008

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream

The other day at the zoo, I promised the girls ice cream. The only problem was, we didn't see any ice cream carts after I made that promise.

So today being the last day of spring break (we're not counting weekends here) and a fabulous 80 degrees and sunny, we decided to go get that ice cream. You know, ice cream from a stand where there are choices, many of the places which make their own on site and where we don't have to scoop it from a box. The only problem is, none of the 645 million ice cream stands were open. First we tried their favorite place. Nope. Then the giant ice cream cone - the one with melted ice cream because its just kept in freezers - that just re-appeared for the summer. Nope. Okay, well let's drive across town to Carvel, they're open all the time. "Carvel is closed until further notice. Sorry for the inconvinece" WTF man, why is it so hard to find ice cream? The kids were getting upset, and I was getting desperate - almost desperate to show the kids that McDonald's serves ice cream.

Okay, well I know of one the next town over which is open for the season already. And actually, that town has TWO places open, which I found out!

So we found a nice place and the kids made their choices. AT the counter when asked, the ice cream lady got the reply of

May I please have cotton candy ice cream in a cone?
I would like cotton candy please, in a cone.
The blue and pink cotton candy in a cone. Please?

Repeated a dozen or so times until Einey looked up and said,
May we have three cotton candy ice creams in cones, please?

After getting our ice cream and finding a seat, we all sat quietly enjoying our treats. I was able to sit around and take in our surroundings. We were seated next to a friendly older lady who enjoyed making small talk with the girls. She even got up and grabbed napkins for them. Before she left, she stopped at the table and had a nice conversation with us, before handing each of the girls a dollar bill (in our conversation, she mentioned a recent fund raiser for a friend of ours where she attended and handed out treats to the all of kids. When she remarked about how my girls were special - because thats what Einey told her - Einey replied "Everyone in the world is special". At that point, she seemed a bit taken by surprise, and then she smiled and said "that's right" and to me "your doing a great job with these girls") Behind us sat the older gentleman who appeared to be a companion to a handicapped gentleman. All three of them appeared to be regulars at the stand, you could tell from the banter back and forth. Then in came the small group of teenagers, followed by the father and two daughters. Next were the two mothers with their four tweens and another family like ours. In and out, there were older folks, tweens, teens and tots. Young parents with their mother and baby. Fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers. In that short span of time, while we sat licking our ice cream cones, many people passed in on out of the doors. Some staying to eat in the air conditioned room, some taking it outside and others getting it to go.

But do you know what I saw on everyone's face? Every single person had a smile on their face and a relaxed look in their eye. They seemed happy to be there in that span of time. With nothing more important than enjoying that ice cold treat. It's something that we don't see everyday in our busy lives. I was happy to be apart of it, and to be able to say that for once, nothing else mattered.


In contrast to the short time we spent at the ice cream shop, just being, we had a few more in depth conversations on the way home.

The first was about a sign Einey saw outside the window:

"Freedom is not Free"
We talked about what that meant to us and how it affected our lives.

The second was about the environment. She wanted to know what the eco-friendly label on the on the new Poland Springs bottle meant. So we talked for a bit about the environment and ways we help to protect it. I'm not going to go into much here though as Earth Day is right around the corner.

1 comment:

Alex Elliot said...

That sounds like a fun day at the ice cream shop and how smart of your daughter to know that everyone is special! We're going to the zoo this Friday.