I Scream as They Scream About Ice Cream

puppetTheatre_lrgSummer doesn’t officially end until September 22nd, but the end of the season for me is just over the horizon as the boys start school tomorrow.

Its been a nice couple of months filled with swimming, tennis camp, a trip to NYC and various other activities reserved for out of school pleasure.  This included an almost daily trip to a yogurt place in town called, Berrylicious though their name will be changing shortly as someone else called their shop the same name – kind of reminds me of that scene in Spinal Tap, where the band started out as The Originals, but then another band in the east end called themselves The Originals so Tap changed their name to The New Originals and then the other band changed their name to The Regulars.

Point being – sweet, frozen treats are synonymous with summer, but this charming vision of youth is being threatened by the usual collection of parental do gooders who would ban the neighborhood ice cream person because they are tempting their little angels with Bomb Pops, Dixie Cups and Nestle Crunch bars before dinner.

Picture a sparkling day in Brooklyn, in Chicago, in Cleveland, an urban park where children play and laugh.  And then, across the way, the colorful truck, the hypnotic, murderous jingle, the semi-trustable guy peering out at the kids waving a Sponge Bob ice cream bar with gumballs for eyes at their level.

Then see the carrot, apple slice, organic granola bar toting, Jessica Seinfeld discipled mom, powerless against the pull of history.  The meltdown ensues as does the inevitable call to the Public Works department to ban the ice cream truck from the park. Oh, it’s done under the ruse of eliminating unlicensed vehicles from the area but it’s really about control.  I’ll feed my kid the sugary stuff when I decide, not when you flash the lights.

Neither Ben or Jerry stands a chance against these confectionery crusaders when they set their mind to something.

Yes, we need to have an everything in moderation mantra for feeding our kids treats.  And yes, I’ve shielded my kids from the truck, walking out of my way where they heard the expletive laced trash talking coming from the public basketball courts, rather than the evil music emanating from Mr. Softee’s wheels.

But as the summer comes to a close, I look back on all the things I did when I was their age: left my house unannounced to walk or ride my bike, sometimes miles away, to see a friend.  Stayed out past dark playing stickball, or football, or hockey without a care in the world.  Even ran out as the Good Humor truck made its slow roll down my street, pre-dinner, with dollar in hand.

Those times are long gone, at least in all the places I’ve called home since my idyllic Long Island childhood ended.  That’s why I let the kids have ice cream after a long, hot summer day.

If you’re not going to eat it then…

Published in: on August 25, 2009 at 11:05 am  Leave a Comment  

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