Friday, August 13, 2010

Ice Cream: The Responsibility and Privilege

He came out carrying ice cream, and I knew.  We had made the right decision.

We were on our way to my in-laws' house, and we needed to stop at the store for ice cream.  For some reason I decided to send in The Thinker instead of towing all three of the rascals inside for such a quick purchase.  I gave him a few dollars, and told him to buy a quart of vanilla ice cream and some chocolate sauce.  He looked at me and said, "Alone?" 

"Yes.  By yourself."

He took the money with a smile, looked both ways before crossing the parking lot and passed through the automatic doors.  I drove around the lot to park beside the building where I could see the doors and waited. 

He emerged a few minutes later with the store brand of ice cream ("Because it's cheaper, Mom") and Smucker's Magic Shell Chocolate Sauce.  They weren't the choices I would have made, but they were perfect. 

"Those machines are weird, Mom.  They talk to you and everything."

"You used the machines?  Did anyone help you?"

"No, I figured it out.  The lines were too long to wait to buy just two things.  And I figured if I had trouble, I'd just ask someone."

He talked for awhile about choosing chocolate sauces, anticipating his dessert later that evening.  He read the back of the bottle and told me about what you need to do if you accidentally place the bottle in the fridge.  I stole glances at him as I drove.  He was sitting taller.  More confident.

All because of ice cream and a little bit of freedom and responsibility.

"And you know what, Mom?  I get what you've been saying about privilege and responsibility." 

And that's when I knew.  He's growing up.  And it's a good thing.

Just remind me of that later. 



Cranberry Morning said...

Aren't you proud of him! Boy, that brought back memories...of my kids doing things on their own for the first time. They really are capable if we just trust them and let them do it. It also reminds me of a pet peeve of mine - when children are standing at a counter, waiting, while the people behind the counter wait on everyone else BUT the child who's standing there. Grrrr.

Good for your son for using the automatic check-out!

Joy said...

Definitely a moment to be proud! It is hard letting them grow up, but it happens. :) Have a blessed day!

Heather said...

Aww...I have 2 boys also! Makes me anxious for the future,but sad too!

Maggie S said...

mmm. yum. ice cream and growing up.

Karen said... sweet!

e-Mom said...

Makes me a wee bit teary. This is such a sweet slice-of-life story. Your young man is on his way to maturity... and what better way to teach him than with ice cream.

Hugs, e-Mom ღ

S.I.F. said...

So sweet! I love that you thought to let him do this, and I love even more how excited he got by it!Such a cool night for you and your kiddo from something so small!

Anonymous said...

Way to go mom! I sent my 17 year old to the grocery store earlier in the year to get some hard to get Karo syrup. I had to talk him through it on the cell phone - coach him to ask someone for help. You know - this would make a great Challenge! To come up with weekly something for parents to do to build confidence. I remember walking to the grocery store when I was 12 for my grandmother. That would NEVER happen today. However, our children need more opportunities for responsibility like in your son's adventure!

anne graves said...

Marlo, I am almost a little teary reading your post. I can't believe he is that big! I still picture him as the little guy I knew - and sending that boy into the store by himself would just be crazy. But he is a big boy now and growing up! I can't wait to hear how school goes. When does he start? Love you all!

Misty said...

I'm so glad to meet you . This is a similar scene in our home. 3 of my 4 children are in this stage of glowing pride when they can do grown up things, "I'll check the mail mama". "You stay here, I'll go put the books in the slot. Can I walk to the park by myself mama?" They are so proud of themselves. And so am I.

Mariah said...

I also got teary eyed. I don't know how old your son is, but my oldest is 5, and I couldn't imagine letting him to that yet, but in a few years, I just my try it! I'm totally going to remember this one, thanks!

Amy in Peru said...

awesome. it is a bittersweet feeling isn't it?! them growing up and all... I mean that is the goal, but it's painful letting go!

he did great! ;)

amy in peru

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