Late-Night Ice Cream

Living life in mind of the little things is a principle I have actively implemented in my everyday living during recent years, with a number of different life events and experiences changing my perspective and the general foundation of my days. It isn’t unusual for me to make last-minute plans, to steer away from routine, to consider alternate ways of spending those moments that arise and scream spontaneity—and this evening presented one of those opportunities.

The day’s obligations have all been fulfilled; the washing up, cleaning and laundry all done. My workload is all but on-track; red ticks are splashed across contracts penned onto my Schedule whiteboard. My girls are fed and clean, happy and well. And although, in my mind, there is always time for that urgent contract that is guaranteed to filter into my email the very moment I decide to log-off, there is also always time for a late-evening trip out to pick up ice cream sundaes.

Amelia and I—just the two of us still awake—ventured out into the bitter cold, turned the heating in the car up to full, and talked about how, when we arrived back home, we’d sit in front of the fire and eat ice cream (of course the irony registers!), and that’s exactly what we did; Amelia with her plain vanilla and me with my strawberry sundae. We sat snuggled up together on the lounge floor, blankets across our legs, the thick rug beneath us, the fire blasting its warmth across our cheeks as we smiled at each other from across our ice cream-laden spoons. The smile on my youngest’s pretty little face and that shimmer in her eyes—ice cream late on a school night; one of the little ingredients for a magical childhood—will keep me warm for as long as I remember it. Of course, I could have taken out my phone, asked Amelia to freeze in that moment so I could frame her smile in foreverness by snapping a photograph, but even a tiny fragment of that genuine twinkle in her eyes and that flash of dimple in her cheeks would have been lost to staging, and I would never have treasured the moment in the same way.

There may be some who say children benefit most from routine. It may be the case that success in adult life has an undeniable correlation with consistent bedtimes, rules and regulation. But, for me, this life is all about the little things, the tiny moments, the memories being created in my daughters’ minds—and in my own—that will induce countless smiles and a spectrum of colourful, happy memories to reflect on when they’re grown.

The ice cream is gone but the memories and happiness continue to flow and flood in bursts of warm energy; warmth that will wrap itself around and between the two of us as together we snuggle up in Mummy’s bed and allow our dreams to swirl.

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