There were family crises brewing on Friday. Grandma's biopsy came back positive, showing the long dormant cancer had spread. Mom stopped by work only to find she was out of a job. My beloved young married friend looked to be no longer married, and was choosing a homeless shelter over the same roof as her husband and children. Work had taken a turn for the complicated. Right before lighting the Shabbat candles, a half hour before I was to head out the door to lead the 2nd grade Kabbalat Shabbat, my mother in her heartache and whirlwind thought it would be a good time to tell me my baby cousin has been in the hospital for the last 5 weeks following a suicide attempt.
Right. Cheerful, I know. Without question, it was a day only hot fudge could fix.
I took requests on the way out the door. Dave said, "I don't care, as long as there is mint and chocolate involved." Nomi said, "Sprinkles." Dad just said, "Yes."
So, I brought home ice cream. Stewart's was having a sale, so we ended up with three half gallons. One each of Peanut Butter Pandemonium, Mint Chocolate Cookie Crumble and Vanilla, plus rainbow sprinkles, Hershey's Chocolate Sauce and Real Whipped Cream in a Can. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Drowning my sorrows in ice cream, as delicious as it may seem at the time, really just gives me a migraine. Sometimes it feels sinfully satisfying, and others, it just leaves me feeling guilty and wishing I hadn't eaten that last spoonful. The bowl's gone and all the problems are still there. My 3 year old's hyped up on sugar and I'm left with three half eaten half gallons of ice cream in my fridge, when really all I needed was a mental health day and a chance to cry my eyes out for an hour without interruption or it freaking anyone else out. I just want to go to sleep and wake up to a bowl of vanilla with sprinkles.
This summer, when Dave was working a close and it was just me and Nomi, we would go to Kurver Kreme. I would get Nomi a kiddie Vanilla with sprinkles, and myself a cone of the sugar free option of the day (ahh, the wonders of gestational diabetes). We'd sit at the picnic table and people watch, then bring Dave a sundae at work. He'd lean in the car window and kiss us both goodnight. I'd drive home the long way and Nomi would fall asleep in the back. We'd come home to the dark, quiet house and I'd leave the windows open as we went to sleep.
It was less than a year ago. Why do I feel so much older now?