Saturday, September 19, 2009

Slurpees From 7-11

For more years than I care to confess, long before I had children, I often stopped at 7-11 on the way home from work on Friday afternoons for a delicious Coke Slurpee. Ah, the ice-cold taste of the Coke Slurpee was quite relaxing, as it took the edge off of a busy week.

Starting when my daughter was about 9 months old, one of my enjoyable daily tasks was to pick her up on the way home from work. Even when she was quite young, I continued the Friday tradition of the Slurpee run before I picked her up. The Slurpee would not be finished before I arrived at the babysitter’s house, so I still had more to enjoy after I put her in the car.

As you might have guessed, as she got older, she began to get quite curious about dad’s Slurpee every Friday. Eventually, she asked for a taste, and just like her dad, she loved it!

After it became age-appropriate, my stops on Friday afternoons led me to purchase TWO Slurpee drinks, my usual one and one for my favorite daughter. We would then spend the entire ride home enjoying our Friday afternoon treats.

This Friday Slurpee tradition continued for a few years, even after my first son was born. Of course, he eventually became ensnared in the Slurpee game and I was soon purchasing THREE Slurpee drinks after work on every Friday afternoon.

As you might have guessed, after my 2nd son was born, I was soon purchasing FOUR Slurpee drinks every Friday. Is there any better way to end the work week and start the weekend than to enjoy a Slurpee with your kids?

Eventually, as my kids entered school and I no longer picked them up from the babysitter’s house, I stopped arriving with FOUR Slurpees. However, after we were home for a few hours, we often hopped in the car and traveled to … you guessed it, 7-11 for another round of Slurpees!!

Although the Slurpee brigade eventually tailed off as my kids got older, to this day we will often stop at a 7-11 while we are on our way to other places, just so that we can relive the memories that my kids can remember since their very early days. Additionally, sometimes while on my way home, I will call home and ask anybody if they want a Slurpee. Of course, the answers are always affirmative!!

So, what is the lesson as my kids and I continue to enjoy Slurpees? I believe that the answer can be found under the topic of Family Tradition. Kids like to relive childhood memories that were positive, consistent, and brought about some level of bonding with their parents.

It’s the same reason that many adults take vacations at the same destinations that they frequented when they were children; it’s the same reason that many folks feel good when they put on music that their parents played in the house when they were tots; and it’s the same reason that adults like to revisit their old neighborhoods, even after their parents have moved out.

Yes, positive childhood memories, whether it’s friends, family love, the neighborhood, or even Slurpees with dad, are great to live over and over again. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m getting a taste for a delicious Coke Slurpee!!

How about you? Do you have any memories or activities to share from when your kids were little - the types of memories that are fun to relive over and over again? Thank you!

Paul W. Reeves

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