Believe it or not, growing up in Oklahoma has many perks. But having a Braum’s on every corner has to rank right up there with the best of them. If you’ve never had Braum’s ice cream, I’m not sure you even know what good ice cream is supposed to taste like. As a kid, standing there looking at the case full of flavors and the signs full of pictures, one thing stands out as the king of all ice cream treats; the banana split.
It’s a full banana, split down the middle to make a boat for three huge scoops of ice cream, one each of vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate. Top those with hot fudge, strawberry topping, and marshmallow cream, sprinkle on some toasted almonds, and top it all off with some whipped cream and, not one, but two maraschino cherries. It’s glorious.
And when you’re six years old, it’s bigger than your face.
So when my 6yo, Dex, started asking for one a few months ago, I said no. Many versions of “no”, usually involving some reasoning like needing someone to split it with or that it would give him a tummy ache, but all he heard was “no”.
But last night, after a long day and an even longer evening of baseball, I couldn’t say no anymore. He deserved it and I really just didn’t have the heart to disappoint him again.
So he got his banana split.
All to himself.
He made one heck of a dent in that thing. And he didn’t even need a barf bag for the car ride home! And the best part was, he was happy. Not just a little happy, but grinning-until-your-cheeks-hurt kind of happy.
When it was all said and done, I had to wonder why I said no in the first place. And I wondered how often I say no to my kids without even thinking. How often do I say no because it’s inconvenient for me? How often do I just not want to clean up the mess when it’s over, or take the time to help them do something when I’m busy with work or cleaning or any number of other things that can wait while my kids are growing up at warp speed?
I don’t want to be the kind of mom who, when my kids look back on their childhood, was too busy to let them have fun, too preoccupied to let them get messy and be boys.
So from now on, before the answer is “no”, I’m going to ask myself, “why not?” and see what fabulous messes we can make.