As our son was standing at the window yesterday I heard him exclaim, “Mom! There’s a short moving van driving in circles. And it plays MUSIC!”
Over and over, it drove by our house, announced by its cheery songs.
It triggered memories of childhood joy upon picking a treat from a similar mobile merry-maker. What child isn’t excited to hear the ice cream truck? Longing to share such summer joy with our children, I briefly considered running barefoot to flag him down.
I placed my hand on the door knob only to be stopped by a mind filled by an urgent stream of questions.
Food allergies sometimes throw a monkey-wrench in spontaneity.
How many of those treats contain nuts? How many are cross-contaminated? How many have original manufacturer labeling? Does the driver know these answers? If not, is it OK for me to make a phone call to a manufacturer while he waits for me to buy a popsicle for $1?
What if I blow our son’s mind by telling him the ‘van’ is an ice cream truck and then have to him he can’t eat anything on it?
I just couldn’t take the chance of squashing his joy. Going home and giving him the band aid of a ‘safe’ popsicle from our freezer just wouldn’t have been good enough.
Suddenly it was a relief that he doesn’t know what that so-called ‘musical moving van’ is really up to.
Today I didn’t have to explain to him why we could not buy those treats. It was a blessing that he did not see excited children lining up enjoy ice-cold goodness.
This ice cream truck innocence will not last forever. The odds of the truck rolling through our neighborhood again without delighted children spilling-the-beans seems slim. I’m sure next time we won’t be so lucky and our son will discover its true purpose.
I know his eyes will widen with wonder and eager delight – it is very important to me that I not have to tell him we can’t eat anything on it because we already avoid so much.
SO, I decided to be prepared before the its inevitable return. Planning ahead is an allergy mama’s most powerful and necessary tool – joyful childhood memories depend on it. As our children marveled at the music, I scribbled down the name of the company and its phone number (helpfully displayed on the side of the truck). I found the business online will call them in the morning to pepper someone other than the ice cream truck driver with allergy-related questions.
Assuming something is safe (nut-free), I cannot wait to introduce our children to the ice cream truck. And yes, I’m prepared to deal with crying when the truck goes by and we decide not to participate for reasons other than food allergies (already had a treat, no cash, haven’t eaten dinner yet).
Today, our children’s ice cream truck ignorance was bliss for me.
Next time, equipped with allergen info, the revelation of the ice cream truck’s true identity will be bliss for our children.