“Are you sure you don’t want anything for yourself?”
“The order stops after the baby cone?”
“No ice cream for you?”
I was left behind to pay for our ice cream order tonight as my children ran to see a golden retriever and my husband hurried after them since I was the one who had cash in my pocket. As I paid, these were the questions from the puzzled cashier and even after I paid, she asked me one more time.
She seemed genuinely shocked that I hadn’t ordered ice cream for myself and instead, carted away two hot fudge sundaes in waffle bowls for my husband and son and an ice cream cone with patriotic sprinkles of red, white, and blue for my daughter.
As I walked up to the seating area that overlooks the parking lot, I thought briefly about her reaction. It was clear in her line of questioning that she was surprised I hadn’t ordered ice cream on this hot day.
I made the choice for many reasons, one being that I’m still trying to lose the “baby weight.” But I couldn’t help but to think of what her questions and soft smile seemed to communicate to me: eat the ice cream anyway.
And so, when my son asked me to have a bite of his sundae, I did. And when my daughter offered me a lick of her dripping cone, I had one. We laughed at her ice cream mustache and he showed me the peaks and the valleys he made in his sundae with the fudge casting imaginary shadows on the mountains of ice cream.
I’m all about making healthy choices but sometimes, the healthy choice is to be kind to yourself and take a break. Remember: every time you silence your inner critic, you help to keep theirs silent. And friends, that’s such important work, too.
Thanks for Mothering the Divide with me, as we learn to be kind to ourselves and eat the ice cream metaphors in life if we want to from time to time. A little ice cream never hurt anybody.
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The road seemed to stretch on endlessly before us, but Alexis assured me that our journey was near an end. We’d turn before long into thick woods and travel through narrow, winding roads until we reached her family’s cabin. I had no choice but to trust her as GPS had given out nearly 20 minutes ago.
“There’s good wifi and okay reception at the cabin,” she’d told me, “but you can’t get there unless you know the way.”
So here I was, driving alone in the middle of god knows where with a girl who was my student just a couple of weeks ago. Her and her four best friends had been together from first grade all the way through high school and now they had graduated with very different futures ahead of them. They had decided to kick off “the best summer ever” with a week long stay at Alexis’s family cabin. Alexis and I were heading up before everyone else, the four other girls and four guys.