Friday, June 26, 2009


Grubby fingers press greasy whirls on the ocean of glass, framing the circle of his forehead. Mouth wet, he pants, can I have some? Swirls of flavors dance between tub and waffled cone, pressed into hands trembling in anticipation. Lips pressed to cool embrace, a taste, a taste, on the tip of my tongue. I scream, Ice cream!

I hate saying "no." There are days when I wish I could give my family their hearts desires. Simple things, trivial things, practical things. Internet, I use the coffee shops. Computer, mine is borrowed. Television, we have a small one to watch movies on, no satellite or cable. A flag to wave to the fireworks, next week. This or that. The ice cream you see through the window.

Wants, not needs, my moments of over whelming desire, sadness at my own materialism in the face of those that have so little. We also have a budget, and no ardor to indenture ourselves to the demon of debt, shackles so enticing. Onward we save, planning our days.

Simple can be so difficult.

No today, allows yes, yes, yes tomorrow. 

I really wanted some ice cream too, buddy


Gratification delayed.



Baino said...

Brian, kids don't 'need' all that stuff. Mine never had PC's or playstations or gizmos and gadgets. Of course they had ice cream and treats but learned to appreciate them as exactly that. We still survive on a little but appreciate a lot! I felt guilty when they were growing up but frankly, they've turned out much better than those who had everything and now have more realistic expectations of what life can deliver.

otin said...

I grew up with very little, and it made me work harder and appreciate the things that I have now. I remember begging my mother to go to McDonalds, and us not being able to afford it.Kids seem to get too much these days, I think things were better when the word "no" was used more often!

Poetikat said...

Your presence as there father is what they will remember, not the Nintendos or even the ice creams, just you. That's all they need.


Poetikat said...

Oops! Sorry, the perfectionist in me must correct that glaring error: their father.

Okay. I'm done.


lakeviewer said...

Life is all about these little things, simple pleasures, really. My grown children remind me of how stingy I was when I nixed the $150 sneakers they wanted back when. They smile with forgiveness since they now know the value of delayed gratification.

STay strong.

BeautifulWreck said...

I needed to read something like this today.

Valerie said...

Hard as it feels, Brian, you're on the right road. I hated denying my son anything but it had to be done. All I could hope for was understanding as he grew older. Loved your choice of words as your wrote about the subject.

Mrsupole said...

Hi Brian,

Truly, this is the best way to learn to appreciate what you do have. I have to say "No" to myself, so that I appreciate what I have everyday. We were lucky to get one pair of shoes every year (might be why I keep my shoes for years).

You are teaching them so well and when they become "men" someday, they will know that your doing these things made them into the wonderful men that they became. And they will pass these beliefs on to their children. And with myself being a part of the society that will appreciate having these kind of men in our country, I just want to say 'thank you' to you. I thank you so much for doing this for all of us. It is much appreciated.

God bless.

PS...Please tell your mom and dad that I said "thank you" to them for their raising of such a fine young man.

Brian Miller said...

@baino - true. was not like we had a lot growing up either. the expectation seems high these days, it makes little sense. played the "credit" game when i was much younger (stupider) if its not in the wallet, it does not get spent these days.

@otin - think you are onto something...rights and priviledges have become blurred

@poetikat - true - collect experiences, not things...smiles

@lakeviewer - ach. the price of cool is so expensive. look forward to those smiles. thanks for sharing.

@beautiful - smiles.

@val - ty. hope you have a great Saturday!

Mrsupole said...

You know sometimes it is so strange that we are posting within a minute or two of each other.

But I wanted to ask if you had seen the illustration that another blogger made and has graciously let me use for "The Freedom Seed" poem. I was also able to post a link to it with the illustration.

God bless.

Brian Miller said...

@mrsu - impeccable timing. smiles. i just jumped over and got caught up on the responses. nice.

life really is in the small blessings we easily overlook each day. we have so much... ty. gotta run, off to work. be back tonight!

tony said...

Nothing At All Wrong With Planning Your Days! In Any Case.Ice-Cream is Rubbish, IT MELTS!!!!!

Lorraine said...

You love your children wisely, you'll never go wrong :)

reyjr said...

lol, delaying gratification is a sign of maturity! you're developing their EQ. :D

great new haircut! haha.

Lover of Life/ Nancy said...

Good job. Hard to do, but good.

Brian Miller said...

@nancy - yes, hard at times. they give so much to me...hope you have a great saturday!

@reyjr - developing something. smiles. yeah he wanted a mohawk like his brothers. almost went there

@lorraine - true statement.

@tony - the trick is to get it in you before it

subtorp77 said...

Brian, Princess Cheese knows we have to go for ice cream ( on almost every visit ). It's really hard to say "no" to her but I can controlle that and the amount of sweets. Oh who am I kidding? I spoil her rotten!

Ben said...

My family had it pretty rough growing up. We only ate out once a month. It was all we could afford. Now, looking back, I'm so thankful for it. Because of my childhood, I'm able to take the model my parents gave me and can live in simplicity, finding contentment in what I have. I think you're a great father, and are teaching your kids what things in life are really valuable.

Ronda Laveen said...

Our motto has always been: pay as you go and no one you will owe. Enjoyed your interview with Otin and Subby.

Candie Bracci said...

My family isn't rich too but I cannot complain.Life has its ups and downs,but we always managed to be back on our feet.The secret is :love and affection.As long as there is love and affection under your roof then it's fine you can climb mountains.It doesn't matter if you have money or not,these money cannot buy.There are some rich families who never shown any kind of affection towards their kids and this is the worst thing ever.