Root beer floats

Women are such saps. Hallmark commercials, Lifetime movies… We quote movie lines like, ‘You had me at hello’ and ‘Some people are worth melting for…’ Thanks, Jerry and Olaf, for adding that extra emotional sigh to our already sappy lives.

We also fall for those witty pick up lines. ‘Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?’ ‘You should come with a warning sign that says ‘Dangerous Curves Ahead!’ ‘You must be tired…you’ve been running through my mind all day.’ Oh, ladies, you know we’re goofs for that stuff. It may not get us now, but it got us back then…when the guy was trying to make us smile in that ‘oh, you’ve got me’ kind of way.

For me, it was a line about root beer floats. We both had the idea about a root beer float, and then he added, ‘With two straws.’ (*Sigh*) Insert eye roll and dreamy smile here and mental wedding checklist here.  Oh, I was a goner…

But that root beer float never happened. The two straws weren’t for us. They were for him and someone else somewhere else. And so I banned root beer floats. I refused to have one until the right guy came along. Only then would I allow that float-loving-two-straw-sharing-maudlin weak spot in my heart to be vulnerable again.

Well, little did I know who I would share my next root beer float with…or how long it would be.

My nearly-seven-year-old son overcame a big hurdle in his little life recently. He has been afraid of a particular thing, and  when he finally conquered that fear,  there was reason to celebrate. We had had ice cream the day before, so I considered something different. The same little ice cream stand also advertised the elusive root beer float. And I realized if he, with his brave little internal strength, could celebrate overcoming a fear as big as he was, then it was time to overcome my distant disappointment and celebrate with him.

I asked him if we could share the treat, and he said, ‘With two straws…or maybe in two cups.’

Oh, that very statement that made my heart melt two decades prior…that statement that I thought meant we were M.F.E.O. (‘Made For Each Other’, Sleepless in Seattle). Oh, those wistful haunting words…with a twist that brought me reeling back to the present. The twist that made it belong to my slightly germophobic boy…this boy, my boy.

I looked down at his precious doe eyes and realized that I was still a sucker for that line. Only, the one I would truly share the float with was the one who deserved it most of all. I would melt for his sappy lines for as long as he would dish them out to me.IMG_2764


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