Monday, June 20, 2011

For the Love of Ice Cream

"Aw... come on now... it can't be that bad, Jule.  Let's go get a Birdsall's (a local ice cream shoppe - that has the best banana fudge ice cream - hands down)!
These are the words that were spoken to me every time I needed to be cheered up, encouraged, consoled, motivated, or celebrated with.  I am now 41 years old and my Dad is still taking me to Birdsall's for ice cream.  Who knew ice cream had healing properties?  It's true.  Something about the process of looking up at the menu board and choosing an ice cream treat, licking in a swirl fashion, and thinking about nothing else, but how good it tastes - has the power to make the world just a little sunnier for the moment.  And, as it turns out - most of us only need a moment.
So how lucky am I that my Dad has shared this ice cream wisdom with me my entire life?
My bike was backed over and crunched up when I was four - let's go get an ice cream.
My friends planned a sleep over and didn't invite me - time for ice cream.
I earned a "Superior" on my piano solo I was crazy nervous about - ice cream, here we come.
The school play didn't need my talent - ice cream fixed this too.
A break-up with a boyfriend - only ice cream would do.
Thank goodness, as I've gotten older, Birdsall's has been the answer to more celebrations than defeats.
College graduation, getting my first job, my first apartment, my first car - all causes for an ice cream cone.  But my favorite ice cream celebration at Birdsall's happened when I wasn't even there.  Seven or eight years ago on a hot day in July, I had been helping my parents clean out their basement - and my Dad was on grandson duty.  He had been entertaining - or containing my toddler when my Mom and I realized it was very quiet upstairs.  They were either napping together in the recliner - or they were gone.  Soon enough we heard the back door slam and the kitchen faucet was in full force along with a lot of giggling.  Evidently, it was time to carry on the tradition with my son.  Neither my son nor my father have earned medals for neatness - so, as you can imagine, both of them had been treated to an ice cream cone - one was an expert ice cream eater - the other - quite the novice.  At the end of this adventure, both were covered in sticky, melty missed slurps of some delicious concoction of Birdsall's ice cream - and just like that, the healing powers of ice cream were passed on to the next generation.
Happy Father's Day - to the best ice cream lovin' Dad and Grandpa in the world!

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