I admit that I bribed my kids to get them to go to the jazz fest – you can go to the food fair part if I can do the jazz part. It sounded good, but we got a late start and once we arrived downtown, it was a painful decision. Funnel cake, pizza, mini doughnuts, fresh squeezed lemonade, ice cream. It was the classic angst I’d have every time in college when I went to a place that served breakfast and dinner – pancakes or a burger, syrup or ketchup.
The more my son vacillated, the more painful it became. We’d walk in one direction and he’d change his mind, only to redirect ourselves a minute later. After awhile, he was simply mad at himself for not being able to decide.
When we finally landed on ice cream there was a long line, which meant he had ten minutes to rethink it – imagine that pizza just a block away! – and to change flavors. I gave him the rare opportunity at a double scoop – anything to get out into the dusky evening and hear the music – but it turns out that Smurf and Mocha just don’t mix. Not a viable option.
Finally, I let him know that he could also get a slice if he wasn’t entirely sated (this meant upping my daughter’s shake from a small to a large so all things could be equal; the only child in me just doesn’t get this need for even-steven always). Scoops in hand, we made our way out to the lawn and found a big tree to lean against. The fireflies were just starting their dance. Pharaoh Sanders, who played with Coltrane, was on stage blowing subtle notes on his tenor sax, while the standup bassist worked his way up and down the fret with deeply resonating dum-dum-lums. The kids turned cartwheels and tried for handstands on the darkening grass under the sky lit with a glowing lilac-cherry stain.
This is too short! Why didn’t we get here sooner? a voice in me started. Why didn’t you come last night? Why aren’t you more organized? Why….
And then I thought of the teetering emotion back in the ice cream store. Be happy with this decision – with how things have turned out now – with this half hour and these notes you are hearing. Be thankful for the Smurf melting into the Mocha, each sweet bite.
This post is in memory of one of the best scoops I’ve ever had: Nutella at SoCo Creamery with Joan Harris after our first yoga practice teach at Kripalu, three years ago just about now.