Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sweets Caroline

The first signs of spring were appearing in early March this year. We saw a robin in the backyard, we took a bike ride, we planted peas, and we got excited about crocuses appearing. Along with all of these sights was a certain magical sound. It came floating through the air one day just as Caroline stepped off the bus. She knew exactly what it was and screamed in excitement, “THE ICE CREAM MAN!!!!”

Her usual dawdling was replaced by wild sprinting straight through the house to her room where the Mason jar containing a few bills and coins sat on her dresser. Before I and the baby could reach the back door, she was out the front door panting and assuring me that she remembers my rule to stay on our street. This rule came about as a result of last years barefoot, three block ice cream man chase-down.

I looked at her and realized that no “You haven’t had lunch yet,” or “Aren’t you saving your money,” comment was going to stop her vigor today. So I went in the house to help Desi round up a few quarters of her own. Desi wasn’t actually as into it as Cara, I got talking with a neighbor, and before we knew it Caroline was back, and NOT empty handed. She looked proud as punch that she had waited and waited and FINALLY he had found her. She rubbed it in a little to Desi and went in to enjoy her spoils. I glanced at the wrapper and was surprised at the flavor she had chosen, coconut. Knowing of her distaste for this flavor, I began to question the selection but the stopped myself, not wanting to prematurely ruin it mentally for her.

She unwrapped the precious prize and took a lick. A lick was okay. Then a bite. Her eyebrows wrinkled. Her eyes widened. Her nostrils flared, and her lips transformed from an angry frown into a wide open wail! “It has COCONUT in it!” she screamed in disgust. If you have ever had something major and expensive break down like the day after your warranty expires, you may have a small inkling of the disappointment and outrage she felt. She was deceived. Shattered. Slighted. Jipped.

At this point phrases like “umbrella mom,” “logical consequences,” “impulse buying,” and “lessons of life” were swimming around in my head right along with the words “mercy,” “innocent mistake,” “heartbroken,” “rescue, ” and “love.”

“I’ll buy it from you honey,” I instinctively offered. But the question now was whether we’d be able to flag down the trouble causing truck again in time. I made the quick decision to leave Will home in charge of the youngins for a moment and told Cara to hop into the bike trailer. We took off up the road and luckily located him. Cara decided to buy from the dollar menu a rainbow popsicle that she remembered trying last year. A safe bet. And fifty cents less. She was learning.

As I pedaled home I wondered whether my rescue had been right. Then out of her mouth came as sincere a “Thank You, Mom. You’re the best.” as I have ever heard her give. She knew that I had saved her from her plight when she had not power to do so herself. I do want to teach her wise money management. It’s important for her to know that some sales are final, and sometimes in life you just miss the boat. But when we fall we need not despair, for if we humble ourselves and come unto our Savior, His grace is sufficient and his rewards are sweet above all that is sweet.

This year's cake was no disappointment. She was pretty excited. Happy 6th Birthday Sweet Caroline!

15 comments:

Christi Nebeker said...

This post was well worth the wait. I enjoyed reading every moment of it. I could see her face and giggled a bit as I read it. Thanks for sharing... Will you please make a cake for Tassja. Cara's cake looked so good!

Nicholas K. and Sarah Maye said...

You are such a good mom!! Seriously!!! I hope to follow in your example with my children. Thanks for reminding me that I can be like the Savior and by doing so, teach others to love Jesus too.

Joe'n'Jess said...

that story cracks me up. Cara is such a hoot! You never cease to amaze me. Here you took a cute little story about the ice cream man and made it into a life lesson about our Savior's love for us. I love your blog.

Lemon Family said...

What a good mom! And super cute cake too.

Andrea Brown said...

What a good mother you are!!!! I hope I have the humility to do the same!!!

Peck Family said...

I love this story! We have had similar experiences with the dang ice cream man!

Katy said...

Happy Birthday to Caroline! She is getting so big! She is lucky to have a mom like you!

MINI said...

he he he...Caroline is the best. And if I had kids...I TOTALLY would have just bought another one for her. So you did the right thing :) :)

Jessica Jensen said...

Thanks for reminding me of what is important at moments like that. I love our sweet caroline. I am glad she had a special day thanks to a loving mother!

mom said...

Love the cake, but most of all the lesson. Mom

Ryan and Hailee said...

that cake turned out so so cute!! Happy Birthday Caroline!! She's so adorable, I love that picture!!! I am sorry about the ice cream drama. That is so sad, but you are an amazing mom, and I love how the story turned out!!

Jen said...

What a sweet story! I LOVE the cake, supermom... and Caroline looks like you just made her day!! :) Happy birthday Cara!!

Lissa said...

Thanks again for a beautiful post. You have a way with words and are a wise mom. Thanks for the good example. I'm glad Cara had a happy b-day. She's a doll.

Christi Nebeker said...

OK I need to leave another comment. I thought of you as my daughter butched her hair but no sweet lessons came to me.
I enjoyed reading this again as it nearly brought tears to my eyes! Such a wonderful mom you are!
P.S. I would turn this story into the friend!

Debbie said...

I still feel bad I made Desi miss the ice cream man. I'm glad you tracked him down.