You just never know when an opportunity to take care of your kid is going to come along.
One of them for me was on a really hot day about fifteen summers ago. I was visiting a lady who lived a few miles from where I live, and I’d stopped on my way at a convenience store to get some ice cream. I really hate hot weather.
I was walking back to my vehicle and unwrapping the ice cream when I yanked a little too hard on the wrapper and I dropped the whole thing in the dirt. I was so mad at myself! I got in my truck and started the engine, giving myself a really hard time, yelling at myself for not taking more care, and began to pull back onto the street. Then in my head I heard a kid’s voice–my own voice from when I was a kid–say, “Why don’t you just buy him another one?”
I stopped, right at the edge of the parking lot, and paid attention to what was going on in my head. I was a lot more angry than the situation warranted, I realized, so I went into my head and heard a little boy crying like he’d lost everything in the world.
Twenty or so years back my thoughts drifted to a park or something of the sort… it was a really hot day, and I was munching on some ice cream, when I heard that little boy crying his heart out. He must’ve been all of three years old. He’d dropped his ice cream in the dirt, and he really had lost everything in the world as far as he was concerned right at that moment. And his father was there, giving him a really hard time, yelling at him for not taking more care, and leading him back to their car, and I muttered to myself, “Why doesn’t his dad just buy him another one?”
I put the old truck back into its parking place and went into the store, where I bought him another one. He stopped crying and he’s felt a lot better ever since. And me… I don’t know that I’ve ever had better ice cream.
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