Our kids are teenagers. Ok, Lizzie is technically not. She’s only 11. And Antwan has a few more months of not technically being a teenager. But, emotionally? Yeah, they are teenagers. One of the true bummers about that is their apparent inability to have any fun anymore. Not in the silly way that I have fun, anyway.
I’m sure they technically have fun. I have seen hints of it. But, gone are the days of dancing around to songs on the tv, tickle fights, and chasing bubbles. I know that’s just the way it is. But, when they turn up their noses at universal fun like arcades, I question their sanity.
But, I have found one activity! One magical activity that the three won’t turn down. Eating ice cream! Now I don’t mean buying a container of ice cream at the grocery store and having a snack (although, that’s cool, too…). I mean, getting ice cream from the ice cream truck!
Since we moved back into the neighborhood that I grew up in, we have heard the ice cream truck often. Antwan spent the summer trying to figure out where in the world the ice cream truck music was actually coming from. He would ride his bike through the neighborhood with no luck. Sometimes, he would rope me into driving around to look, too. It wasn’t hard to convince me, I also like the ice cream truck. But we could never track him down.
In my day….he came through my neighborhood but we eventually figured out that the truck must be driving around the apartments near our house. So the very next time that we heard it, I ordered the nearby kiddos (Lizzie and Antwan) to hop in the car.
We found him and quickly saw his motivation for catering to the apartment folks. So many kids were there, ready for their ice cream. We happily joined them.
I felt giddy after. There is just something about an ice cream truck. 🙂
So weeks passed. Those were the weeks when they fully evolved into their teenage personalities. One day, Lizzie and I were coming home from Walmart. It had been a pleasant trip. We were walking towards the house and we heard it. We heard the music. I wasn’t sure if they would even be enthused anymore. But I asked them if they wanted to go find it and my teenagers raced back to the car! We might have broken some speed limit rules as we went on the hunt but we found it.
It was such a simple joy.
And finally, the other day, I was coming home from work, exhausted and super excited about getting to my recliner. But, I heard that telltale music. After a brief, argument with myself, I walked in the house and yelled “The ice cream truck is nearby. If you want ice cream, get in the car!”
I didn’t really expect any response but next thing I know, Antwan is coming down…in his underwear. He said he didn’t have clothes but he agreed to go up and find something. Moments later, he was downstairs in backwards shorts, a t-shirt and no shoes. He headed to the car. Meanwhile, William came down in his “summer” hoodie, long pants and no shoes. As he was heading to the car, Lizzie was trying to find clothes. (Don’t my children ever stay dressed??)
The boys and I were in the car waiting and Lizzie finally came out. She was wearing black pants and her leather jacket, pulled tightly around her chest. She had her arms wrapped across her chest and that’s when I realized that she wasn’t wearing a shirt under it. Lol! She laughed and said that she couldn’t find a shirt. (I promise that my children have clothes!)
William helped her zip her jacket up while I raced to the apartments. I had to flag him down because he was about to leave. The boys jumped out and ordered their ice cream. But Lizzie wasn’t getting out of the car. When I went to check on her, she was giggling and explaining that she was zipped into the seatbelt! Haha!
We got her unzipped and zipped back and ice creamed.
We headed home, happy and sugared up. That was a lot more work than I had expected. But, I’m so glad I did it. (And I sure wish I had gotten pictures of their ice cream ensembles!)
Sometimes it’s the little things. The little moments. I will take my children for ice cream truck ice cream as long as they will let me (which turned out to be as recent as an hour ago!); even though it might cost me a small fortune if he comes too often. Whatever the cost, I will pay it because it’s worth it to see them smile and to be reminded that my babies are still in there. 🙂