food · Hershey · slice of life

A Milkshake Through-Line

It was a scorcher today in Central PA! It wasn’t the kind of day where I want to be anywhere other than a pool. However, Isabelle and one of her friends from a former school in Harrisburg had plans to meet up at Hersheypark so, naturally, I went knowing I’d probably spend the majority of the day with Ari on his rides.

By 1 p.m., I was exhausted. By 2 p.m., I was texting Marc asking how soon they’d be able to meet us at the front of the park. By 2:40 p.m., I marched Ari over to Milton’s, an ice cream parlor at the front of the park, and told him I needed a milkshake.

I reached the front of the line only to discover Milton’s wasn’t serving milkshakes today. (I would’ve asked if I had energy left in my body. But all I wanted was something frozen and copious amounts of ice water.) Ari, on the other hand, wanted chocolate.

“You do know it’ll melt as soon as we get back outside, right?”

He shrugged. He didn’t care and I didn’t want to fight with him.

Just as I ordered a dish of ice cream, Ari decided he wanted something else. An ice cream perhaps? No. A cake pop! Again, I had no fight left in me so I acquiesced.

After I paid for our sweet treats, we carried them out to the patio along with two ice waters. As I got everything set up, my ice cream began to melt! Within two minutes, I had half of a dish of ice cream and half a dish of ice cream soup.

I encouraged Ari to be careful by putting his enormous cake pop down between bites. He listened… until he didn’t. The next thing I knew, half of the cake pop was on the ground.

“Ugh!” he exclaimed.

Of course, that was the moment Marc and Isabelle reappeared with their ice creams. I cleaned up the mess while Isabelle waited for her friend and his mom to join us. As we waited, I wiped cake pop off of Ari’s face and hands because IT WAS EVERYWHERE. As I did this, he whined.

“I’m still hungry. Now I have nothing to eat.”

I went to throw the wet wipes into the trash can. When I returned, I discovered Isabelle was offering Ari some of her ice cream. And not just a tiny spoonful… multiple spoonfuls of her frozen treat.

“Oh, sweetie,” I said. “That’s such a thoughtful thing for you to do.”

Isabelle shrugged. To her, it was no big deal. To Ari, it meant the world.

Once we were back home, Ari declared, “You can draw me a picture instead of giving me a joke note.” (He kept forgetting to have someone read the jokes to him last week in the cafeteria. Seeing as he can’t read yet, I offered to draw him a picture when he told me this.)

“I’m not that good of an artist,” I replied.

“Just draw me a smiley face,” he said.

“That’s boring. I can do better than that. Let me get one of my drawing books.”

I went on a search for an old Ed Emberly drawing book, but couldn’t find it. I found John Burgerman’s Daily Doodle instead. First, I attempted a dog for Ari. I came up short so I traced {🤫}. Then, figuring I might as well knock out Isabelle’s lunch note at the same time, I flipped through the pages to find something worthy. Eventually, I settled on a milkshake. Apparently, despite a shower and a few hours of A/C, I still had a milkshake on my mind!

Head over to Two Writing Teachers for more slice of life stories.

8 thoughts on “A Milkshake Through-Line

  1. You captured so much about your family dynamics in this slice. Thanks for allowing me a glimpse of your weekend. Especially enjoyable for someone like me whose own kids are all grown up and off on their own.

  2. Mmm, milkshake- now you have me thinking of that! Although the day was hot and frustrating at times Isabelle’s kindness was a bright spot- glad you captured it all.

  3. I loved everything about your story from the sweltering day at the park to the quest for something cold to eat to your sweet daughter sharing with her little brother. Our kids never cease to amaze us. And I love your cute notes…and that you still get away with sending them in Isabelle’s lunch! 🙂

  4. I love how your note to Isabelle reinforced her generosity sharing her ice cream- shows you remember her goodness!
    And your piece is so honest about how hot and exhausted we can get, and still we dont get what we wanted and it wasn’t much to ask! Parenting is hard.
    And now… I also want a milkshake!

  5. Oh man! How I miss that time. You captured this busy time so vividly. Like a teeter totter, everything changes, and is so “up and down,” so quickly. All the compromises, sacrifices and split second decisions a mom makes. . . . Lovely little slice

  6. Sounds like a fun day, despite the heat. We were in Philly last week and it really was unbearably hot. We got ice cream in Ocean City and it had to be eaten so quickly.

    Isn’t it nice to see our children grown up and do kind things for each other spontaneously?

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