When’s the last time you had ice cream?

“Daddy can we have an ice cream cone?”

“Sure”, I said much to the shock of both my kids and their two friends. “Why don’t you go in and pick out anything you want.”

“Can we really?” Came the chorus of four shocked and bewildered children.

I smiled broadly and said with encouragement, “Sure, anything!”

In an instant my weary kids came to life as if they’d never had ice cream before. The buzz inside the pinkly decorated ice cream parlor of Sedona was exciting. Like bees trying to find nectar they darted from place to place inspecting with big eyes what they might get.

My daughter looked at the many colored buckets through the cold clear glass with names that tickled her as she read them aloud. “I’m going to have Strawberry!” She announced. My son opened a menu and pointed to a picture of a banana split holding it up for the whole world and me to see. I nodded my approval.

The other two girls were picking out their favorites and our two kids were still running around wondering and wondering what they might choose.

The eldest of the bunch asked me “When’s the last time they had ice cream?” Secretly enjoying the same excitement I was having in watching my kids go crazy.

“It’s been a while….” I said. “Normally, we don’t let them have sugar so maybe this is a big deal.”

“I’d say so….” Came the cool but enthusiastically touched California teenager’s reply.

“I want TWO scoops!” My daughter screamed while also interrupting. I bobbed my head approvingly.

“I can have two scoops? Really? Dad, you’re the best Dad ever!” Then like a bolt from the glass wall of ice cream she offered me a quick hug with her eyes wide shut and then she was right back to the many options.

Our other two guests stepped up to the ice cream counter to order like a well-seasoned pro.

Minutes later we were all outside on the sidewalk enjoying the warmth of Sedona with everyone licking away. My wife, with the other couple who was visiting us for the weekend, walked out of another store, smirked at me and said, “You’re a hit.”

It is ok to splurge

I smiled knowing that ice cream –with sugar, wouldn’t have been my wife’s first choice but I knew there weren’t going to be any objections today. “We’re going to continue to browse some more stores, okay?” She said, continuing to stroll.

“Sure… We’re all good here,” I said grinning at my wife for acknowledging the special treat as she and the other couple left to continue window-shopping.

It was delightful outside but I could see the little bit of warmth presented a challenge and there was an unspoken race to try and not let one precious drop of the delicious dessert touch the ground. This in itself was funny as all the kids would whip their heads from left to right and then quickly again from right to left to ensure no drippage.

Everything seemed under control and so I said, “I need to go to the restroom to wash my sticky hands. Will you guys be okay?”

Four sets of eyes nodded with acknowledgement in cartoon unison with some little audible sighs of “Uh huh.” Everyone was in heaven so I walked down the street. Not more than five minutes later, my son found me with hands under the facet in the Men’s room and said, “Dad, you’ve got to come outside right now. We have an emergency!”

I dried my hands while running outside not knowing what to expect. Four feet from the bathroom door was my darling little girl, with everyone else surrounding her, crying so hard I couldn’t understand a word. Kneeling down to her level I asked, ”What’s wrong Princess?”

keep the wonder alive

Through massive tears and sobbing I couldn’t see what was the matter. Instinctively, I begin checking her body for any hurts or issues that might be causing the pain. In between the breaths of wailing, my son leaned into the center of our collective huddle and whispered during a moment of silence, “Dad, a scoop fell off her cone.”

Evidently, my son has already attempted to fix the problem himself before involving me. I was now starring at a broken cone with tiny pieces of rock and debris that couldn’t be washed under a drinking fountain. Surprised this was the emergency I pulled back and said, “Is that what’s the matter?”

“Yea, Dad! It fell… “ My daughter stopped almost dramatically and then finished her sentence, “… right off the top.” Then she rose her shaking little hand and pointed to a place behind our group. Sure enough, I stared at a partial red globe and a growing strawberry puddle.

Without a pause, I stood up and said, “Let’s get a new one.”

Through tears she looked even more shocked than my first announcement that she could have ice cream in the first place.

“Another one? Do you mean a brand new cone?” My daughter asked in an uncertain voice.

“Yes,” I said authoritatively, “a new one.”

“With two scoops?” My daughter asked lovingly.

“Yes, with two scoops”

And within a couple of minutes we returned to the ice cream parlour with the old-fashioned pink and white wallpaper and came out with another brand new double decker on a sugar cone. Ask my daughter today, or my son, and you’ll understand this moment is still not forgotten. The day they asked, and got, exactly what they asked for.