Ice Cream For Dinner

It is hot. It’s been hot all day, all week. And I’m taking the boys to get ice cream for dinner.

We had a sensible breakfast (fruit and eggs) and a sort-of sensible lunch (bean and cheese quesadillas made by my 7-year-old). We balanced indoor and outdoor activities, my work, their play. Some reading, some Phineas and Ferb, some swimming.

But it’s summertime, and all the normal rules don’t have to apply. They get to stay up later than they do during the school year. There’s more reading and almost no studying. And sometimes we get to have ice cream for dinner.

Could I justify it on nutritional grounds? Maybe, but it would be a huge stretch. Dairy and starch. Like quesadillas. But with a lot more sugar. Some protein, but that’s about it. But I don’t really care.

There’s a ritual to it: putting on sandals, getting in the car, driving to Washtenaw Dairy. Checking out the crowd on the benches outside as we walk in. Deciding if we’ll have our usuals (kiddie chocolate ice cream in a cake cone for my younger one, single chocolate ice cream in a cup for my older son, single mint chocolate chip in a waffle cone for me) or shake it up. Ordering, paying. And then eating.

Ice cream for dinner wouldn’t be the same if we had ice cream at home, or if we went to a different ice cream place. At least not for me. And I’m hoping I build memories with my boys, of the ritual and the ice cream and the time we spent together, of looking at the other people sitting on the benches eating ice cream instead of turning on the oven, and of licking drips off our fingers instead of loading the dishwasher. I hope they remember.


Magda Pecsenye writes about parenting at and about co-parenting after divorce with her ex-husband at When The Flames Go Up.

Follow her on Twitter at @AskMoxie and join the AskMoxie Facebook page.


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