So, I've been struggling with a blog post that just may not get posted. Er...don't ask.
To relieve myself of guilt, stress and discomfort, I am going to treat myself to a bit of
I love ice cream. A lot! And since I've moved to the South, I've eaten twice as much ice cream in the past two years than I think I've eaten in the previous five before that!
Seriously, I have to almost budget Ice Cream into a separate column on the Excel Budget from May to September!
But, as I was listening to my ipod the other day, a favorite song came on and I listened to the words as if it was the first time. (Mindy Gledhill's All About Your Heart.)
It's a love song. A friendship song. A song of acceptance and partnership.
I don't mind your odd behavior
It's the very thing I savor
If you were an ice cream flavor
You would be my favorite one.
This struck me. So many times in our world, we are told what our family, our relationships, our romances should look like. Should taste like.
So today, I'm writing a Valentine to the fellows in my life. My husband and my five boys.
My life would be as empty as an Arkansas summer without ice cream without you guys!
And you are each my favorite flavors.
For my husband:
I know your least favorite flavor is Neapolitan. But that's what you are for me.
You see yourself as vanilla. Others see you as vanilla.
Vanilla is good.
You are a Boy Scout. Now some use that as a put-down. Not me. The world would be a better place if more people were
Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean & Reverent.
(All ice cream images are from BaskinRobbins.com)
Vanilla is just too unappreciated in the world.
But you are more than Vanilla.
You are also Sweet, Sweet Strawberry. You understand me. You commiserate with me when I run into roadblocks and doubt myself. When I wonder if I can ever make it as a mother, a writer, a person, you are my strongest advocate, my biggest cheerleader. You have the most faith in me, even though you see my dark side. The side I show no one else.
And honey, you are also my Chocolate. Not just any Chocolate, but Brownie Fudge with Nuts!
You know I can't get along without chocolate!
I could say more, but this is is going out into the wide, wide world. So I'll hush now.
But...you notice that there are nuts in here? Most people never see the nutty, silly side of you.
But it's there, just well hidden.
Now, for my boys:
For my oldest. My Teenager.
Buddy, I gotta apologize. You are my first and I keep piling expectations on you.
When I look at your youngest brother and remember what my expectations were for you when you were four, I can't believe how fast I've wanted you to grow up. I didn't see that you were just FOUR.
All I could see was you were the big brother to a 2yr old and an new baby and I needed you to be a big boy.
Gosh, honey, I'm sorry.
This is called Gold-Medal Ribbon. Because you deserve one. But also because you are really, really sweet. And sometimes, Mom comes around and douses your reality with a bunch of salty expectations and Why-Didn't-You's. And you, sweet boy, are so forgiving of your faulty mom. And you just shake it off and keep being sweet. Like Salted Caramel Fudge.
What can I say?
We haven't always seen eye to eye lately.
You are an idealist that has had his eyes open to the awful realities of life. You want to take the bitter and dissect it so that you can FIX it.
And eventually make it AWESOME.
With a great soundtrack.
It's a puzzle you want to know and control.
But mom see's it as a lot of pessimism. And I shut down the bitter before it makes me sad.
But, you buddy, are in the middle of making Jamocha Almond Fudge. I know we'll get to the point where that bitter, dark taste will be balanced with sweet happiness and nutty silliness.
And it will be EPIC!
My Bouncing Rubber Ball. The Helium-Filled-Balloon of our family.
I cannot even choose one picture of you, how will I choose a flavor for the kid who fits a weeks worth of fun in one day.
You are Rock N' Pop Swirl Sherbet. (Baskin-Robbins, folks!)
See, you're not even ice cream! No wonder we get so confused around you.
And how do they describe this flavor?
Prepare your mouth for fireworks of flavor with green-grape flavored sherbet and purple-green apple flavored sherbet and popping candy.
Unpredictable and Fireworks. Yep. You're all that...and more.
You shake up my expectations and show me there's more to life than what I'm settling for.
You are Way Awesome!
Now for #4.
Big for his Britches.
You, mister, make me laugh everyday.
By this time, I should know not to expect cookie-cutter kiddos. But you sure prove it.
You are so incredibly smart and seem set on keeping up with your brothers, surpassing them if you possibly can.
And then, sometimes, right in the middle, you realize:
'Whatever! That's what THEY want.'
It's not your goal, not your movie, not your game.
You want something Different.
And you head out in a totally different direction.
This is for you, mister. Lunar Cheesecake. (Baskin-Robbins, again.)
You are not just off the map, you are Outta This World!
And incredibly sweet and unexpected all the way around.
Now, what can I say about my Little Buddy!
I think after the Roller-Coaster Ride of your brothers, God knew I needed a sweet finale.
And he gave me you.
Smooth, sweet, and easy to get along with. Pairs up with almost any flavor. But full of nuts, because you have to be to survive this family, hon.
You fill my days will joy and laughter.
All of you fill me with joy. I am so lucky to have you guys. I am so very blessed.
So, I'm done with winter. I'm ready for warmth and sunshine.
And Ice Cream.
Because you guys are my Favorite. Always.