I offered to take the family to a mall yesterday afternoon. I thought maybe we could get out of the house, walk around a bit, maybe eat some ice cream. At the words “Ice Cream” my childrens’ faces lit up and their eyes began to dance expectantly back and forth from one parent to the other.
“Oh…” Andrea began to protest. “I don’t like to go to that mall though. People get shot in that mall.”
At this, Lydia collapsed into limp defeat. “Nooo…” She groaned, “I don’t want to get shots! I’m not even sick anymore.”
I felt her forehead. “No, you are not. But you don’t get shots at the mall. Mom was talking about “getting shot”. That’s something different.” I noticed Clara had not stopped smiling at us uncontrollably in spite of everything else that had been discussed. I stared at her for a moment and then asked, “Clara, are you okay with us going to the mall to get ice cream even if it means possibly getting shot?”
“Yes!” She screamed without hesitation. “Yes!” She pumped a fist in the air. “Ice Cream! Ice Cream!” She began to wiggle at the waist. “Ice Cream! Ice Cream!” She continued to chant while she charged up the hill in the direction of the enemy machine gun nest. “Ice Cream! Ice Cream!” Bullets ricocheted off the rocks behind her. Her helmet falling loosely to one side. Her satchel dropping to the ground as she charged on. A pink spoon held bravely towards the sky in heroic vigilance. “Ice Creeeeeam!!” Quivering with fear, her enemies abandoned their defenses and surrendered to the awesome power of ice cream.