Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In defense of the Ice Cream Man

One of my good friends posted on Facebook yesterday that the Ice Cream Man came through the neighborhood around 9 p.m., and wondered if other people thought that was strange.

Not me. I grew up in the town she lives in now, and I remember waiting on the curb until sundown with my neighbor friends, wishing and hoping that the ice cream man would come by so I could buy an orange push-up with the money I'd saved going door to door, selling stickers or a tap dance performance.

To me, 9 p.m. seems like a perfectly acceptable time for the Ice Cream Man to make his final round.

Of course, my son has a couple good hours left in him at 9 p.m., although I know many kids are in bed by then. But I say, if the sun is still shining, the Ice Cream Man is welcome on my street.

But my friend's friends were all quick to post that they thought it was creepy for him to be there at 9, and that being an Ice Cream Man is creepy in general.

Say what?!

My husband and I are advocates for our son's safety, to the point that some people think we are overprotective. But I'm not the least bit leery of the Ice Cream Man.

First of all, he is not sneaking up on anyone, and he is making everyone fully aware of his presence as he plays his happy tunes through the neighborhood. Secondly, he would have to be incredibly stupid to do anything bad while he's driving a giant music box with ice cream cones painted on the side.

I guess it just makes me sad that something that is meant to be fun and bring joy and fun memories is written off as "creepy." I know there are bad people in the world, and I know we have to be careful and teach our kids to be careful. But I don't want my child to internalize that people he doesn't know are suspicious or scary, and I especially don't want him to think that things that seem joyful are inherently suspicious.

So what's the balance? I'm not sure. Of course I want to keep my child safe always and teach him what he needs to know to be smart about these kinds of things. But I don't think that means that we run and hide from things and people that are unfamiliar. What do you think?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The most expensive vacation we've ever taken

We took advantage of the long weekend by taking a trip to Yellowstone. We had already considered it when my sister-in-law called and invited us to spend the weekend at their aunt and uncle's cabin in Island Park. We were excited because that meant we could take our little vacation and we had free lodging.

We drove up Friday after Dave got home from work. The car got great gas mileage all weekend as we drove all around the park, stopping to see bears (10 total), a moose, lots of elk and bison and a coyote.

We only paid for one meal the entire time we were there because Dave's aunt Teresa kept us full on home-cooking.

Sounds like a pretty cheap vacation so far, right?

But on the way out of the park for the last time, I glanced down and saw that the main diamond from my wedding set was gone. All gone.

So if you ever find a princess-cut diamond in Yellowstone (maybe near Old Faithful?), CALL ME.

ETA: I forgot to mention that Dave went back into the park and searched every place we had stopped that day. He knew it was a long shot, but he couldn't leave without trying. Sweet, huh?