Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lessons taught, Lessons learned

Today the ice cream truck drove down our quiet street. When my daughter got the hard news that we would not be purchasing any ice cream, she dissolved into a first class display of tears and mournful cries. In the midst of her anguish, she spontaneously started to draw this picture.

Note the hand, outstretched with longing. The tears and dazed sorrow on the face. Note the ice cream truck, driving away with a happy, heartless smile. And the words, since you probably can't decipher her five-year-old handwriting: "I m sad for is cree [sic]."

As I hugged my daughter, and complimented the drawing, I explained to her that part of growing up is learning that we don't always get what we want, even when we "really, really, really" want it. If she wanted ice cream, she would have to do her chores, earn money, and wait for the next time the truck came down the street.

I couldn't help but smirk at my parental advice. Isn't that the message we still have to work on as adults? Who says we're so grown up? We still cry inwardly when we don't get what we want. In many ways, I related and I think we can all relate to the girl in the picture. But the only thing we can do is wait, and work hard, and hopefully we will earn that reward.


Anonymous said...

The ice cream truck came down our street a few weeks ago and Benjamin came running into me saying, "Mommy I need something from that van!" So I asked him if he knew what was in the van. To which he replied, "I think they're giving out paper. We need to go get a piece of paper."

I'm not going to lie, I had an inner struggle after that. Should I tell him what the van was actually for or just go upstairs and get him a piece of paper? In the end I told him. I think he was amazed at the idea that a van would go around with ice cream inside. It will be interesting to see what happens next time it comes down our street. We may have a scene similar to your house. :)

Lady Glamis said...

Oh my goodness that is so sweet and sad! It's so true though, the advice we give our kids we really need to take ourselves. I often overlook it. Great post! And that picture is fridge-worthy.

Natalie said...

Yeah, I cried just last night because I don't get what I want when I want it. I don't think we ever stop feeling that.

Now, the next lesson you'll get to teach her is when there are other kids out there getting ice cream and she can't have any. I think that one is even harder, because it doesn't seem fair...and in a lot of cases it might not be. But that's just how it goes.

Oy, that lesson sucks.

Renee Collins said...

Candice-LOL, what a funny story. :) There really is something about those trucks. Even if the kids don't know what it is, they are just drawn to them.

Way to go for telling him the truth. It's a moment that all mothers have to face eventually. I had a friend who told her kids that they were "music trucks" for the longest time. They were pretty stunned when they learned the truth.

Michelle-All the time I find myself teaching my daughter things that I've yet to master myself. Ah well. :) And yes, that picture has a prominent place on the fridge.

Natalie-Truly, we all cry when we don't get what we want. It might not always be outward tears, but they are there just the same.

And yeah, the other kids getting ice cream is the toughest for sure. For both of us.

Becca said...

Ren.....I was laughing so hard I cried....the "smiling smirking ice cream man" PRICELESS....its right up there with the infamous "...if Jared says..." note. Ahh the painful life lessons we must learn. Currently my "ice cream truck" also has a "smiling smirking man" driving away, taunting me as he disappears into the if to say..."this Turkish ice cream is the best you'll ever have...but YOU can't have it!" I echo Amber's yearning...sigh!! So funny though Ren, it seriously, made my whole day :) Cheers!

Becca said...

ps...I laughed so much when I read it that I had to show my class....(I was reading it while they were working on an assignment)...they LOVED it and laughed and laughed!!! She is a star with my class now :)

Jessie Oliveros said...

What a great little artist, so much detail and so much emotion. When she showed you the picture was she still sad or did the art therapy help her get over her disappointment?

Renee Collins said...

Becca-Oh, she would be very pleased to know that her drawing made such a splash. :)

Jessie-Well, it was a mix. She was still sniffling when she showed it to me, but I could tell she was kinda pleased. I think she was trying not to smile because it would ruin her grand dramatics.

Kasie West said...

That is so funny. Man, I wish my kids would whip out the paper and draw when they were throwing a tantrum. Mine are not quite so productive. They just lay on the ground and bang their feet against the wall. I guess it's better than their heads.

Renee Collins said...

Kasie-LOL! Well, don't worry, mine do that PLENTY. :) This was a rather unusual move on her part. But, she has quite the flair for the dramatic, so I think she imagined this would help her case.

Becca said...

Okay Ren....I officially showed ALL of my classes Amber's pic...they LOVE IT!!! It gets a huge laugh everytime...especially the smiling, squareheaded, alien-esque ice cream man :) (which ps has great perspectuve as art goes) Anyway....just thought I'd tell really did make my week!!