As a parent, it’s in best practice to not live vicariously through our children.
Well, most of the time.
I grew up with having birthday and Christmas wish lists. I knew if I wanted something bad enough, I could earn a few quarters or dollars at a time and get that troll doll with the neon hair and a gem in its belly button. I knew if I just held out six more months and be on my best behavior, I would potentially get that Sega Genesis for Christmas.
Now that I’m the big adult and hear my children’s little voices ask in excitement about a new doll, game or for a new bike, I find myself teetering on waiting for the next big holiday or being so excited about the new toy too that I splurge and go ahead and purchase something that in no way makes our lives better, but just adds more stuff and clutter to our home.
Enter my most recent purchase.
First, some background: When I was younger, a girl in my grade had a Snoopy snow cone maker. You’d place ice in the little red roof of the snoopy doghouse and — voila! — you had your very own snow cone you got to add your own sauce to. It was basically the coolest thing ever. Help me, I was jealous.
You guy are probably connecting the dots and figured out what I bought online the first hot as heck day of the summer. You got it. A SNOW CONE MAKER.
The day that plastic hunk of joy showed up on my doorstop, our summer changed. I have not one but TWO flavors — cherry and blueberry. If I combine them, I also get purple (the flavor is still being determined because it’s actually super gross). The straws are pink and open up at one end to create a tiny spoon-like function. Oh and the paper cups? They're cone shape, not cup shape. They're the REAL DEAL.
My husband was still at work when I ripped that box open, threw in the ice and became manic as I held down the button that shredded the ice and sent it towards the perfect cone dispenser. The kids just got over their fear of the big loud vacuum, so they were a little shaken up. But that’s beside the point.
Sure, material objects are just that — objects. However, in our short materialistic life together, the snow cone maker has already made some pretty stellar memories. We’ve shared with friends, we laughed and ate them with our feet in the kiddie pool and we had a few stolen by the dog. It’s a new summer-only tradition.
Being a parent allows us to relive our childhoods again. So in that respect, I want to be right there, fully enjoying it with my children. I have to allow myself freedom to be silly and relax, to submerse in the moment and create memories my children will keep of me.
So darn it, I don't care how silly the snow cone machine is. I deserve it even if it’s nowhere close to Christmas.
Kristine Rohwer resides in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, step-son, daughter, son and two neurotic dogs.