Last weekend I was witness to Mr. Ryan's first ever ice cream cone. His mother/my daughter supplied plenty of napkins and let him slurp chocolate with jimmies all over his face and hands and everything. He licked and dripped away totally enthralled. I taught him how to lick around the cone so that he stayed ahead of the melting (not really possible)..
Later I sent my dearest friend a picture of Mr. Ryan's big event and she wrote back wondering how it could be that at age 4 he had not had an ice cream cone before now..
I hadn't thought about that. Hmmmm. Good question..
This was not the first time I'd seen Mr. Ryan being treated to ice cream. What was different? Aha! Before last weekend, the ice cream was in a cup. And the cone was ON TOP!.
For a two year old, doesn't that make sense? Too small to navigate the cone and the drips so put the cone on top, add a cup to manage melts, and enjoy an upside down ice cream cone..
Makes me wonder what's really up and what's really down sometimes. The poet Mary Oliver alluded to that when she said "What if The root is the flower of the other world?".
Now, at four, Mr. Ryan's Mother deemed him old enough to try his first big boy ice cream cone. He aced the challenge and the grin on his messy drippy face showed his pride and delight in a thousand ways..
Ah, another lesson. Put the cone on top where all is secure and protected until you're ready to face the drips and slips. It's still an ice cream cone. Why teeter totter with mess and possible failure until you are ready and steady? Why rush the learning curve if in taking your time you will reap the amazing accomplishment of mastering this:.
I doubt Mr. Ryan made the metaphoric comparison between the cone on top and the cone on bottom. But I know he knew he had achieved something awesomely special. And thanks to his innocent enthusiasm and his Mother's wise timing, he was perfectly ready to let it rip:.