One of my favorite memories as a kid was going to get ice cream on a hot summer day. The ice cream shop was not that far from where we lived so we would pile into the car whenever we heard its siren song. Once there, my brother, parents, and I would order our single scoop cone. Anything more was a luxury. Then, we would sit around a table and savor our delicious treat.
My brother and I were tiny little monkeys who could not eat those scoops of ice cream fast enough. Inevitably, the ice cream would begin to drip down the sugar cone. At first, the ice cream would drip slowly. However as time went by, the drips would pick up speed. My dad would motion for us to come to him as he said. "Here. Let me help you." Then, he would proceed to eat half of our ice cream scoop. We would cry out in protest. "Hey!!! You're eating it all!!!" My dad would laugh and say. "You need to eat your ice cream faster so I don't have to help you."
Fast forward to the present.
My boys love to get ice cream from the ice cream truck that comes through our neighborhood. They can hear the truck's songs long before it turns onto our street. I try to have a pile of change ready just in case the truck's siren song beckons.
One afternoon, Son #1 sprinted out of the front door screaming. "The ice cream man is here! The ice cream man is here" I shouted to Son #2. "Hurry baby! Let's get some ice cream!" We ran out the open front door to the curb where my elder son was standing. Son #1 was waving his arms frantically in order to flag down the ice cream man. The truck reversed its course and carefully backed up toward our house.
When the truck had stopped completely, the ice cream man poked his head out of the window and took our order. He smiled and handed us our ice cream cones. We cheerfully handed him the money. Then, we waved good bye and took our treats inside the house.
I ushered the children to the kitchen table and opened the wrappers. Son #1 and Son #2 grabbed their cones like two greedy hyenas. Then, a strange thing happened. Instead of devouring their ice cream, they began to daintily lick their cones. Time passed as the children savored their ice cream. Soon, little drips began to run down the sides of their cones.
The drips ran slowly at first but then picked up speed. I chuckled to myself and then motioned for my children to come to me. "Here. Let me help you." I offered. They handed me their cones and I proceeded to eat about half of their ice cream."
"Hey!!! You're eating it all!!!" Son #1 cried out in protest.
"You need to eat your ice cream faster so I don't have to help you." I replied with a laugh.
I left the boys in the kitchen to finish up their ice cream. A little while later, I heard Son #2 cry out in protest. This was strange. I peered around the corner and saw Son #1 "helping" Son #2 lick the drippy ice cream off of the cone. I disappeared behind the corner and broke out into laughter. Apparently, my dad's ice cream swiping legacy lives on in me and my sons.