Monday, April 7, 2008

When Ice Cream is the Will of God

The kids were playing outside today after school, when all of a sudden, Bub burst through the door screaming, "MOM! MOM!" I came running from my bedroom thinking Gracie must have just been attacked by a rabid dog or the car was stolen out of the driveway -- something dramatic for a call so frantic. As I raced towards him to see what the matter was, he exclaimed, "THERE'S AN ICE CREAM TRUCK OUTSIDE!"

Now, normally I might have corrected him on scaring me to death, but to Bub, the ice cream truck he could hear coming our way was an actual answer to prayer.

Not long after we moved here, he, while crying, told me he wanted to get a different house because ice cream trucks didn't come to our neighborhood. I told him that wasn't a reason to move, but he was serious. Their neglect of our neighborhood was so troubling to him that if he had any say in the matter, we would pack and move post haste.

A time or two afterwards, he actually prayed that God would send an ice cream truck, which I thought was cute and a sweet memory for the scrapbook. I thought that God probably enjoyed that prayer as much as I did, but I didn't give it a lot of thought. And while Bub hasn't prayed for the passing of an ice cream truck over the last few months, he has brought the issue up periodically and wondered what might be keeping them away.

Today was the day of answered prayers.

I grabbed some cash and rushed into the yard with the children. We craned our necks to determine the direction from which "Home, Home on the Range" wafted, and we decided that the truck was stopped just one street over. By this time, all the children who had just been outside playing were inside begging mommies for money.

As we waited, Bub ran to the intersection of a street a few houses down -- one that dead ends into ours -- to see if he could spot the truck and wave it our way. By that time, all the other children were back outside and racing to join him. Bub was there only a moment or two before he began to shout, "I see it, I see it!" But nearly just as quickly, he dejectedly called to me that the truck passed the turn. He wasn't coming onto our street.

We live on a quiet cul-de-sac street tucked in the middle of a big neighborhood, and I can easily see how we could be missed or ignored. Without a doubt, though, I will do all I can to see that my little boy isn't disappointed. Should I let him see the answer to a prayer before his very eyes and leave him to watch it drive away? Nope, not if I can help it.

I turned in the other direction, and I began to run.

And if you know me, you know my running means business.

By now, a large cluster of kids took my lead and began to follow me. Bikes racing, scooters scootering, kid feet pounding the pavement -- we all headed to the intersection where our street meets a more major one. We reached the corner where I shouted to the children to wait while I continued to run. (It's the boundary for most of the children on our block.) I rounded the corner, leaving our street, all the while still running. And here I should say that some sort of adrenaline kicked in because I was hardly even winded.

At least not as winded as I should have been.

You know, with the windedness that comes before death.

As the ice cream truck came into view, I could see the driver turning his wheel away from me. Now, I'm a smart gal, and I know that even adrenaline running has limits. I also know there's no way I could run the entire neighborhood chasing down a Bomb Pop, so I began to yell and wave my arms in an appropriately frantic way. The driver, when he heard my shouting, stopped and motioned me over.

"There are six kids waiting for you on that corner," I huffed, and pointed behind me.

"But I going theese way," he replied (with a heavy Eastern European accent), as he pointed in the opposite direction.

"Sir," I puffed, "I just ran down our whole street to get to you, and there are six kids waiting just on the other side of this fence. You have to come this way."

The fact that I had my serious mom face on may have helped, but after a mere moment of standoff, he nodded his head, waved me away, and turned in our direction. When the kids heard the music coming towards them, I heard jubilant shouts long before I saw happy faces. And when I finally caught a glimpse of those faces, my boy's face had the biggest smile of them all.

This is the second batch of kids he served after turning down our street.
He easily made $60 or more by making a little detour in our direction.

Why do children prefer to eat Popsicles in the shape of a severed face?

The Happiest Boy on the Block

(And I'm probably going to have to answer for this one, but...)

"And this is the confidence that we have in him,
that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
And if we know that he hear us,
whatsoever we ask,
we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."
I John 5:14-15


  • Elizabeth

    Go, Mama, Go!!!

    I well remember chasing down Santa on the firetruck one year. They were gonna totally skip our street. I DON'T THINK SO MISTER!


  • Someone Being Me

    What a great story. You go Mom. I would have cried if the ice cream truck hadn't stopped.

  • Tara

    what a wonderful story of mommy-love!

  • Christy

    Oh my Gosh, I can totally envision you trucking down the street for all it was worth... Yes, my heart would have been pounding and I probably would have died, but it would TOTALLY have been worth it to see the triumphant smile on my child's face!

  • Julie

    I love it,
    It would have been great if James got that moment on video. I can see the headlines now, "Mom chases an ice cream truck for the good of the neighborhood"!

  • Amanda

    Oh girl, I don't think you know what you're saying! The only good reason to have that experience on videotape would be for bribing me later. I don't think you've ever seen me run, but despite good intentions, it is not a lovely sight.

  • taralynn819

    The best part of the ice cream truck was that it was usually BEFORE dinner! :)

  • Happy Mommy

    I love it!
    I know the love of ice cream, I love ice cream! And we live in the country and my poor children have only seen an ice cream truck once while visiting a relative...It saddens me that ice cream trucks don't drive down gravel roads, I would chase them, I might even run too!

  • Awesome Mom

    You are awesome for helping his prayer get answered. Hopefully the ice cream truck guy will come more often now that he knows there are a lot of kids near by.

  • Rebekah

    Here by way of Michele from Stories of My Life.
    Loved this post! Maybe because I'm not the only one to see God use the ice cream truck to teach my kiddos. Way to go Mom!

  • Kelly

    Not sure how I found you but I love this story! The things we moms will do to help bless our children:-)

    Good for you!

  • The Dukes Family

    Love this story! And the vision of you chasing down the ice-cream truck is one that brings a smile to my face ... the love of a mother! :)

  • Mama Jeannie

    What a faith-builder story for your son... and for all of us! The faith of a child. I believe God took absolute delight in answering that prayer. Really! :0)

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