This I Believe

Stephanie - Bloomington, Illinois
Entered on February 22, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in the power of ice cream. The ice cream doesn’t need to be any specific flavor—though extreme chocolate and French vanilla are my two favorites—it just needs to be full of fattening, sugary goodness. For me, this delectable dessert has the power to connect, the power to heal, and the power to brighten any horrible day.

My mom taught me early on to respect ice cream and its powers. When I was a little girl and felt sick or upset, her first offer was a bowl of vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup: the perfect treat to cheer me up. Now we have slightly different tastes: I prefer chocolate ice cream with tons of chocolate syrup and chocolate powder while she still loves the vanilla with just a little chocolate syrup.

Though our tastes have changed, our cure-all still binds us. When one has a bad day, the other will make the ice cream and we’ll talk about our problems over our bowls. As a teenager who often strives to share as few similarities with her mother as possible, I can appreciate the binding power that ice cream has over us. Without it, I sometimes feel we wouldn’t connect as well as we do and wouldn’t be as open with each other; with it I know we will always share at least one strong bond.

As previously mentioned, my family consumes ice cream when physically or emotionally sick. If we feel depressed, we eat ice cream. When flu season begins, we stock up on it. It’s the second dish to grace the stomach of the ill, after chicken noodle soup, of course. (The ice cream sometimes comes first, but only in secret, and we rarely admit it.)

Especially handy is the fact that we live within walking distance of both Kroger and Walgreen’s. This means that even when ice cream is not in the freezer, it’s only a short distance away. This is useful during finals and other stressful school times: I’m almost positive the Walgreen’s workers could recognize me as “That Stressed-Out Ice Cream Girl” during the hardest weeks of A.P. History during sophomore year. That time alone proved the power of ice cream to me: without it, I was close to giving up multiple times. Instead, I’d eat a pint and move on.

Now, I eat ice cream when I have a less-than-satisfactory day. If something has me down, I hit the freezer as soon as I walk through the door. My thoughts are that the sooner I reach my ice cream, the sooner I’ll be happy again. And it works every single time.

Ice cream is my day brightener, my common ground with my mom, and my cure for all ills. I know it may be simplistic and childish to some, but I would rather think that this dessert brings back the memories of my mommy being able to fix anything with a hug and a bowl of love topped with chocolate.