Saturday, April 21, 2018

Chase the Right Bells

As a child, the sound of the ice cream man made an alarm in my head. My home was at a dead end, so the ice cream man never came down that far, making it only possible to get to the truck by sprinting down the street, up a great big hill, and running my little heart out. I was fast, but I can’t even count on one hand how many times I actually caught up to him. Each time I ran for that truck I was so disappointment sometimes even seeing his tail lights just off in the near distance.

Let’s fast forward to today. Today the sound of the ice cream truck, you all know the sound, blared in our neighborhood. Our neighborhood has never had a truck gone by in the 12 years we’ve lived here and this spring has been the first time we have ever had one visit.

Well, when I heard that truck and I told my girls who was making all that noise, they lit up and I mean lights in the eyes like Christmas. 

We got our coins and ran outside in about 30 seconds flat. We were ready to get that ice cream, but just like me when I was little, we didn’t make it. We could hear the bells off in the distance, but the longer we waited the further the sound went.

How disappointing.

But then I had an idea. I said girls get in the car. I ran inside, grabbed my keys, and we buckled up fast.

As I started to drive, every prayer I could muster was said.
We went through our neighborhood, no ice cream truck.
We went through the back neighborhood, no, not there.
We went to the end of the street toward the main road, no ice cream man in sight and then…

THERE! It passes right by us. The girls said, oh no, no ice cream!

However, by this time this mom was bound and determined to get to that ice cream truck, so I continued to follow him.  

Were we ever going to catch him? Would we be going home empty handed?

Nevertheless, just when we were about to lose hope that this chase was finished, the truck finally came to a halt. We all burst into cheers as the truck's stop sign flipped out; we quickly unbuckled and ran as if our life depended on it.

There my little ones were able to look at the ice cream panel, picking slowly and carefully, choosing an ice cream worthy of the chase.Their little squeals of delight and laughter made it all worthwhile. Worth the run, worth the drive, worth the feeling of crazy.

Normally I would not do this but something in me said, DO IT! Just get in that car and go! Find that truck!

This behavior is usually reserved for my husband Mike, who is more spontaneous than I am, always bringing such excitement to our family, but today the spontaneous one was me. And I’m so glad I was!

This story isn’t about the ice cream, but it is about my children seeing their mommy do something out of the ordinary to help them get something special. I want my girls to see that sometimes you have to chase things, sometimes you have to go that extra mile, and sometimes you have to make a decision to be a little crazy to get what you want.

Stepping outside our comfort zone to experience all life has to offer, makes our life more full. We have to chase the right bells and make it happen. Make it happen for our children, our students, and even ourselves.

I don’t think my girls will remember the exact ice cream they had today, but I do know they’ll remember this experience, an experience they had with me.

May we all step outside ourselves sometimes to build crazy, silly experiences for our children and our students by chasing the right bells.

Alana Stanton is a kindergarten and technology specials teacher at Mulberry Elementary in Gwinnett County, Georgia. She has taught several grades over her 14 year career including K-3 literacy special, first grade, second grade, and kindergarten. Alana believes that relationships always come first in the classroom and the classroom should be a place where students thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. She currently writes for her blog, More Than A Lesson where she shares the stories of her classroom and her heart.

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