When I was growing up, we spent every Sunday with my mom’s great, big family.
It was a great way to grow up. My mom is one of 11 children, so there was always someone to play with, and there was a feeling of belonging that I just cannot imagine being equaled otherwise. I was really loved. And there was proof of that love all the time, but those Sundays really helped shape me, and my pride for family.
Part of the Sunday tradition — besides having the “dinner” for lunch around a great big table with the biggest lazy susan you’d ever seen, and always golf on the TV in the background — was ice cream with my PawPaw.
My PawPaw loved ice cream. He was “in charge” of the ice cream. I always felt like my Grandma ran the workings of the household, but when it came to ice cream I always knew that my PawPaw was the provider.
We would go into the kitchen, and we’d go to the big freezer with the huge tub of ice cream and then he’d ask, “Bowl or cone?” He had cones stashed in a tall cabinet, but I almost always went for bowl. Because if you got bowl — small, and cream-colored little bowls, with little black specks that reminded me of vanilla ice cream — he would put the freezing chocolate on top. And when I was introduced to freezing chocolate syrup, I couldn’t imagine a better invention. I really remember my Grandma first telling me about the “new freezing syrup.” Isn’t it funny what you remember?
Ice cream with my PawPaw. Every Sunday after dinner. In a great big house, with a lot of people, and a million things and conversations going on — I always got that special time of picking out, and eating the ice cream with him. Eating the ice cream with him was when we talked, and I loved that just as much as frozen syrup.
The thing that reminded me of this is — my Thomas is the same. Every night after dinner, my oldest requests vanilla ice cream.
It’s pretty much the only sweet he eats, and it’s really one of his favorite things in the world.
So I scoop up his vanilla ice cream, into those same small, cream-colored bowls with the specks, and give Tom his favorite treat while being reminded that his love of ice cream comes from a very loving man.
And that the simple act of sharing ice cream, can create a lifetime of memories.
And I’m so thankful I have them.