Friday, June 7, 2013

The Story of a Popsicle

Once upon a time a little boy found an enticing-looking popsicle-making kit languishing on a shelf in the basement.

"Look at that kit! Let's make popsicles!" he suggested.

His mother, busy gleefully cleaning the basement and tossing unused items into a bin for a future garage sale, was distracted. She only heard the word "kit" and remembered that it hadn't been touched in years.

"Garage sale," she thought, reaching for the item.

But her son kept going. "I had these at my friend's house. We could make our own! This'll be awesome!" And the mother realized the last time she'd used the kit, he'd been only one. It didn't seem fair to get rid of it when he'd never had a chance to enjoy it.

"OK," she relented, tearing herself away from the satisfying task of getting rid of things. "Let me clean it first."

The mother then learned the importance of putting kitchen items away clean. The popsicle-making kit had last been used about five years prior. And the sticky remains of those long-gone popsicles still, unfortunately, remained in and around the plastic molds. Which could not be removed from their places in a metal tray.

"Garage sale," the mother thought again, running the molds under hot water and trying to clean them without the advantage of being able to reach the soiled areas with a sponge. She imagined telling her son the molds couldn't be cleaned. She imagined him wandering away to play with something that didn't involve her at all. She remembered when he always wanted to cook and bake with her and how he wasn't so into those activities anymore.

She persisted.

After 45 minutes under hot water, the molds were miraculously clean. Mother and son stirred blue food coloring into vanilla ice cream. Mother filled the molds. Son put the sticks in. They cleared out room in the freezer and placed the molds on a shelf. 

"When will they be done?" the son asked.

"About two hours," the mother replied. "And then we'll add the next layer of color."

The rest of the day passed sweetly. Mother, son, and baby went outside. They played together in the yard, took a walk, and visited a neighbor. The popsicles were forgotten. Then they weren't.

"Can we add the next layer?" the son finally reminded his mother. 

This time, red food coloring was added to vanilla ice cream. The molds were filled. The popsicle sticks were coated with pink ice cream, but that was OK, the mother told the son. "We can just wipe them off when they're done," she said.

The next morning, mother and son peeked in at the popsicles. They were beautiful. The blue and pink ice cream looked good enough to eat. 

"When can I?" the son asked, eagerly.

"After school," the mother replied, feeling just as excited.

They'd put in the work. They'd put in the time. And when they were done, they got so much more than this delicious, melty mess:

The End!

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