Drawing by: John E. French
I grew up in a small town (15,000 population) in The Netherlands. There was farmland there. Cows. A lot of cows. Not the perfect location to drive around with an ice cream van, tempting children with the cold refreshing treats, perfect for a hot summer day. Ha! Hot summer days…it was The Netherlands! In the early ’80′s, before Global Warming had really taken off. Back then (oh my God, that makes me sound old), hot days meant temps in the high 60′s and even those were not that frequent. So, no ice cream vans for me growing up.
Now I live in Los Angeles (3,793,000 population). Where it gets
warm hot. (Last week it was 106 degrees (41 C.) at 5:15pm.) I left the farmland and cows (and cool) behind to move to the big city. Then I got married and we started a family, ending up in a residential neighborhood with tree-lined streets and block parties. And with all that comes the ice cream van. Every afternoon, he comes around, playing one of the same 3 songs he has in his repertoire:
“It’s a Small World”
I initially didn’t remember the 3rd song, but luck had it, that he just came by. Playing “Silent Night”. IN JULY!!!
He is completely out of tune and the sound of his music equipment sucks so much that it makes all the dogs in the neighborhood howl loud enough to (almost) overpower the sounds that blast from the speaker on top of his almost-falling-apart van/mobile.
Luckily our property is fenced in and the street is made invisible (for anyone under 6ft.) by a hardwood fence, yet the mobile contraption that the owner (I believe) calls Ice Cream Van is hard to ignore due to the sounds it produces. Kai was only little when he first asked me what that sound was. “The dogs are crying”, was my answer, hoping to not draw attention to the van selling candy, ice cream, soda and all sorts of other Kiddie-Crack. “No Mommy, the music.” I mean, if it had been true Italian Ice Cream, sold by a true Italian Ice Cream maker, I would have told Kai the truth and we (most likely) would have turned into “Giuseppe’s” most loyal customers, but it isn’t. And he isn’t. So, I swear, it just came out of nowhere when I said: “That’s the Music Van. He drives around the neighborhood to play music for the neighbors.”
There, I lied.
And up to this day, both Kai and Ryder truly believe that our neighborhood has a Music Van, who comes around every afternoon (even in winter) and plays (hideous) music to bring cheer to the neighbors. Yes, that’s the happy neighborhood we live in.
Long may their innocence live.
I wonder which bubble will burst first: Santa or the Ice Cream Van?
Until next time,
Savor food, savor family, savor life.
- Marieke, aka HRH Mommy
Share Your Thoughts:
Did you ever tell a “white lie” to your children? I’d love to hear from you!