I wish every child had memories like this to share with their children.
I still remind my dad when we talk about how grateful I am because of these small things that make such a big difference to a child.
Ice Cream Sandwich on a Saturday Afternoon
One of my fondest memories was when I was a young, innocent child who was only 8 years old. I was growing up in Phoenix, Arizona with my mom, dad, four brothers, my grandmother and cousins. It was a very curious time in my life. I remember having so many questions. I felt my whole life was changing. I was no longer the little “baby girl” of the family.
Big Girl Chores
I was now a “big” girl who had to help take care of her little brother and younger cousin. I now had chores to do before I could go outside and play with my older brothers and friends. Life seemed to be so busy now. No longer a life of just make believe. I was now attending school which meant the dreaded “h” word, homework. It seemed like everything was busier, even my dad who was my prince charming.
When I was younger I was always with my dad. When he was home we were always playing games, laughing or me sitting on his lap while he would eat dinner. But now it was different. My dad who was a mechanic had to work longer hours so I got to see him less and less. This was starting to make me very sad. One day my dad said he had a surprise for me. I LOVED surprises. Thus began one of the most favorite past times of my childhood.
It was a Saturday afternoon when my mom had me get dressed and ready to go. I wasn’t sure where I was going but I had a feeling it had something to do with my surprise. My dad left work early so he can come and pick me up in his little raggedy work truck. Others may have not thought much of my dad’s transportation but for me it might as well been Cinderella’s magical carriage. I was so excited just to be spending time with my dad alone.
I didn’t have to share him with my four year old brother, or my older brothers who were now, twelve, sixteen and eighteen. It was a magical time. My dad was trying to learn how to speak English better so he would sing English songs to help him practice. I will never forget the sound of his melodic voice as he sang to me, “You are my Sunshine, My only Sunshine”. He sang it over and over to me. It was the most beautiful song I had ever heard.
Then came my great surprise. He took me to a Circle K where he bought me my first Carnation Ice Cream sandwich. Nothing had ever tasted soooo good. With its soft chocolate cookie type crust and creamy, rich vanilla ice cream in the cente, I enjoyed every bite. It was like a taste of heaven on a VERY hot, summer day in Phoenix.
Never Going to Forget
I will never forget my weekly treat of spending time with my dad and those Carnation Ice Creams. It taught me so much in my life. When life gets hectic and it seems like things are not getting any better, I remember that little tune my dad would sing and the ice cream we shared.
It reminds me to slow down and enjoy the people and experiences I may be going through. Today may not be what I want it to be but I know something good is coming my way just like my Saturdays with my dad and a Carnation Ice Cream sandwich.
Ice Cream Sandwich on a Saturday Afternoon is a memoir by Melinda Sanchez
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