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Merciful fudgsicle

December 3rd, 2003 · No Comments

Yesterday I picked up some film, a roll that dated back into the summer. One of the first pictures is of Abigail and Michaela sitting on our lawn, fudgsicle in their hands and all over their faces.

All summer long the ice cream truck had driven through our neighborhood. This in itself is rare on Bainbridge, since many homes are in more rural areas, out in the woods, more remote. But since we live in a higher density community, more like a suburb or city, the ice cream truck enjoys a good patronage, from children running down the streets and sidewalks, dollars in hand.

The girls asked me if they could have ice cream and I promised them I would let them have it once this summer. It’s hard to plan. One has to be a bit spontaneous and flexible. I’m at the mercy of the weather and the ice cream truck driver. Many days when we heard the sound of the ice cream truck songs, it wasn’t the right time: we were still eating lunch, napping or without money nearby.

September started and I realized that my days of buying ice cream for the girls were numbered. One day, as the girls were finishing lunch, we heard the song coming around the corner. I raced to find some cash and told the girls I’d give them ice cream today. Excited, they raced outside in their bare feet to make their choice: both wanted fudgsicles.

Abigail and Michaela stayed outside in the grass eating their first ice cream truck treat. I had them eat it outside for I knew it would drip everywhere, onto their clothes, faces, hands and feet. Chocolate grass too. But it was fun to watch them. I was happy to finally give them the treat I had promised them. I was glad to be good to them.

When they came back inside, chocolate coated and satisfied, the girls were eager to tell Daddy about the treat Mommy had bought for them.
Ted said to Michaela, “Mommy had mercy on you.” Indicating her plate still on the table, he pointed out, “You hadn’t even finished your lunch.”

We usually don’t allow the kids to have a special treat unless they have finished their regular meal. And I had not realized that Michaela still had lunch left. It was true, she had not deserved to have a chocolate treat. I had given her mercy.

So when I look at what I captured with the camera, black and white film, two girls and two fudgsicles on a summer afternoon, I think about the meaning of mercy. How sweet it is, what a treat it is to be given what we don’t deserve.

Tags: motherhood