“The ice cream truck” yelled the kids in the backyard. They heard the familiar tune and we all ran to the front door to catch it.
The truck was nowhere in sight but I could still hear the jingle in the distance. I turned to my daughters, told them to keep their little brother on the sidewalk and I took off.
I was barefoot and sprinting and wearing pajamas. As I ran, the music was getting softer. Where was he? Breathless, I arrived at the end of my block and saw nothing. I looked right and then left. I spotted him at the end of the next block but he seemed to be speeding up.
In a full sprint I chased him as he was driving further away from me. I decided that the only way to catch him was to run in the middle of the street and hope that he saw me in the rear view mirror. My oldest child reports that I was yelling “Ice Cream Man” at the top of my lungs. She could hear me from a block away.
I caught him, kidless, shoeless and walletless and asked him to meet me back at our house. He happily agreed. I caught up with my kids. They were beaming. Their mom had caught the ice cream truck. In all seven years of parenting, it was this look of appreciation I had yearned to see in my kids. And I had found it. By chasing the ice cream truck. I could never have guessed…
I ran inside to get my wallet and came out to find the kids next door lined up too. I overheard my girls telling their friends about my mad dash. My victory suddenly seemed even bigger. On a winner’s high, I bought ice cream for everyone.
When we returned to the house, my kids couldn’t wait to tell Dad our story. They were so proud of me and that pride lasted until the first sibling argument erupted. My fifteen seconds melted quickly, but the memory will last.