My College:
Family Life

Who Wants Ice Cream?

Shari Bender


"You kids wanna get ice cream?"

Eyes brightened and we piled into the car for the 10-minute drive to Bluebird Ice Cream. The giddy excitement was palpable as we all shouted out our favorite flavors and imagined the creamy goodness that awaited us.

My daughter was at the wheel and I was in the front passenger seat, as the elder in the group. The other “kids” smushed in the back seat jockeying for position to buckle their seatbelts.

I glanced at my daughter, almost 25 and her friends, in age to 31, so vibrant and adorable.

They bounded out of the car and we made our way into Bluebird. Samples of caramel creme egg and chocolate chunk. They all got small cups and I splurged on a still-warm fresh waffle cone full of vegan coconut mint chip.

"Can I take a picture of you kids?"

They huddled together with smiles as big as the moon overhead. My daughter, her boyfriend, her best friend and significant other. A snapshot in time of levity, laughter and in-the-moment.

We sat the five of us in a row outside the ice cream shop, phones tucked away. Talk turned to MCATs, job offers and future thoughts and dreams. A couple walked by with a Chow Chow and we all admired this floofy creature as the conversation naturally flowed to an animated Dogs vs. Cats debate.

Being part of my daughter's posse for this tiny moment in time was something I will treasure forever.

A scoop of vegan coconut mini chip ice cream shared together made this Mama heart so happy — a sweet reminder of how the simplest things in life can often give us the greatest reward.

Originally shared on CollegiateParent's Facebook page. Find more conversation and community in our College Parent Insiders Facebook group. Photo courtesy of the author.
Shari earned her BA in Communication from Stanford University and freelances all things Communication and Marketing. She is a cat-loving spiritual vegan and former admissions interviewer. With two grown children, Shari is happily and sentimentally embracing her Empty Nest along with her husband of nearly 30 years. Her musings delight parents in numerous publications and online platforms, including CollegiateParent and Grown & Flown.
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