A Lesson in Moderation

An ice cream truck drove by the other day.

You know, ring-a-ding-dinging along the street-we could hear it about four blocks away. The sound is unmistakable. And makes me drool, even now. Mmmm…truck ice cream.

I had all three of my kids locked down in the car, leaving a friend’s house, ready to go. That’s when I heard it.  I probably looked like a crazy person…

“GUYS! IT’S AN ICE CREAM TRUCK! WHO WANTS ICE CREAM? GET OUT OF THE VAN!”

I am from Toronto, but now live in a small town. In the past seven years, I have not even heard an ice cream truck. Which means my children, aged four, three and two, have never had the experience of eating ice cream that mysteriously appears out the window of a big white vehicle covered in pictures of delicious frozen treats.

Now I know this isn’t the good stuff. Not real ice cream, probably not even real dairy. But there is nothing that says summer like eating food out of a truck. And I may be a healthy person, but come on. You know when you hear that truck, you want to dig for change in your pocket!

So, here lies a lesson in moderation.

What does this word really mean? Well…apparently moderation means: “The quality of being moderate; restraint; avoidance of extremes or excesses; temperance.”

Key word here is not moderate. Or even restraint (although clearly that is important)…it is QUALITY.

I like to point out this word because I think it nicely ties into our quality OF LIFE. If I can’t smile as my children thank the man in the ice cream truck (manners!) and watch their eyes get as big as saucers (PURE happiness) in the middle of the summer heat as they devour a kid size chocolate cone (appreciation!)…well, then, I don’t have words to describe how sad life would be as a Mom.

Food, including treats, are a part of life. Daily life. We eat every day-food, that is.  We don’t have to treat ourselves every day but we do need treats. We NEED them. We need them and our children need them to learn to appreciate them. And we want them. And should have them. Because they make us HAPPY.  And if you’re living life happy, you’re doing something right.

Life hands you some special moments. Most of them are not food. They might be TIED to food.  An amazing family Thanksgiving feast, Halloween trips around the neighbourhood (although I use the term food loosely there), pancake breakfast with friends..you get my drift.

Food shouldn’t always be a treat, a reward or something to look forward to-but every once in a while, you know…MODERATELY…why not?

Did I mention my kids had just had a healthy lunch beforehand? Oh yah, they did. And they had been awesome all day? They DESERVED it. Because they’re awesome. They really are. My kids rock, and if I had let that truck roll by, they wouldn’t have complained a bit…mostly because they didn’t even know what it was…but I’ll say it’s because they’re amazing little people.

LIVE LIFE. Have ice cream…can you hear the truck around the corner?
Run for your wallet!