Happy 13th Birthday Kyle

Help us honor and celebrate Kyle by joining us in

Ice Cream Day!

In honor of Kyle’s birthday we celebrate with Ice Cream Day. Every year on January 17th we eat ice cream at breakfast, lunch and dinner – snacks too! I am asking you to join us in this celebration. If you do you will be giving yourself a gift as well, soaking in the pure excitement and joy of your children as they delight in a true indulgence.

As hard as it is for me to understand, when I have talked with moms about allowing ice cream all day on just one day out of the year more often then not I hear back, “Well, I’m not sure all day but we will have a scoop at dinner,” as they go over the list of reasons in their heads as to why they can’t do it. But this year I am asking the question, “WHY?” Why for one day a year can’t you allow yourself to throw out all the rules? Why for one day can’t you embrace the joy of not saying no to something that honestly has no down side? Sure, it might be a bit more fat or sugar depending on the ice cream you choose, but it’s not crazy-over-the-top. What is really the harm?

The harm lies in the experience you give up. Before we started ice cream day my boys would ask me, “Can we have a day where we only eat ice cream?” and I would laugh and give them a reason it was a silly idea. Then we found Kyle’s cancer. And one day in a counseling appointment with them their psychologist asked them to go home and make a list of 10 things they wanted to do together and bring it back the following week. That week they made up their list. Most of the things on the list were adventures but at the top of the list was day they could eat ice cream all day and I couldn’t say no.

We returned to the psychologist with the list in hand. As the boys read their list I immediately found myself putting caveats to the idea of Ice Cream Day. That’s when their psychologist stopped me and asked me why? Why did I think that for a single day that was such an impossible idea? From a health perspective she said for one day a year – when they boys ate well-rounded meals every other day – it certainly wouldn’t hurt them. She encouraged me to let go of what was holding me back.

So I did. We picked a day on our drive home. We made a special trip to the store and bought different ice cream flavors for each meal. We talked about all the ways we could have ice cream – sundaes, milkshakes, ice cream cones – the planning was simply joyful. Don’t get me wrong; it was a continual battle in my head to keep the urge to add a condition of the occasional carrot, piece of fruit, or some other “good for you” food into the day. But stopped myself. I let the joy of the experience overtake the rational mothering thoughts in my head.

What I can tell you is of all the days in the two years Kyle battled brain cancer, Ice Cream Day hovers at the top of the list of magical experiences. This in a two-year span that we crammed with as many experiences as we possibly could. We had ice cream for breakfast, and then at lunch I brought them ice cream to school. They raced home from the bus rattling off how they wanted their ice cream snack prepared. And for dinner we ate sundaes with all the topping they could think ask for. You might think that the boys would have been bouncing off the walls or have tummy aches, in spite of all my certainty that Ice Cream Day would have a down side or negative repercussions, it just didn’t happen. But do you know what did? We made an unforgettable memory. We shared laughs. We were joyful. By giving in on one simple thing for a single day I allowed myself to embrace they miracle of childhood through the delight of my boys.

So I ask each of you to stop the rational reasons to put limits on your own Ice Cream Day. Stop and think about if you lost your child would those reasons have been worth it? Would you have regrets? Maybe we can’t raise our kids indulging their whims for fear of regret, but we can pick a single day to celebrate them. As you do you can help honor the life of a boy who embraced every day, every challenge, every experience with the whole of his being and shared that gift with everyone who knew him.

I love you Kylie. Not a day passes I don’t think of you laughing at a joke you’re telling, or racing down the hill on your bike with “no hands,” or begging to play a game of Yatzee, or asking me to lay down and cuddle you as you fell asleep. You taught me to live life without fear, to live life at full speed, and to take a minute or an hour or a day to live life without worrying about all the rules.  

On Ice Cream Day we honor and celebrate you.

Please share this post and story with your friends and family with the hope that it inspires them to take a day to savor the simplest joy of their life and the lives of their children.

- Christin


Karen Gerstenberger said...

I found your blog through Project Violet on facebook (Dr. Olson also attended our daughter, Katie, at Seattle Children's Hospital). I am so sorry for your loss.

This is a beautiful, touching and persuasive post. Wishing all of your family a Happy Ice Cream Day - a great way to honor your boy's birthday. Blessings to you.
-Karen Gerstenberger www.karengberger.blogspot.com

Sophie-Louise Jeffries said...

Happy 13th Birthday Kyle! So Sorry for your loss. Love you Kyle. I would have loved to attend Ice Cream Day but I live in the UK. If you want to chat just e-mail me <3
God Bless you and Your Family. Lots of Love Sophie! xx

Kate said...

I have never read this post. Such Reason. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and your Kyle.

benilhalk said...

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