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31 Flavors

My first job ever was when I was 15 years old as an ice cream scooper at Baskin Robbins. I was thrilled to work officially and earn a paycheck versus babysitting gigs here and there. One of the best parts of working at an ice cream shop is trying out all the flavors. You take one of those tiny iconic pink spoons and scoop out as many flavors as you desire. On my first few days on the job, I would repeatedly stroll in front of each bay and taste the new flavors. One could always find my sea of pink spoons in the trash even before the rush of customers came in. Sometimes my tastebuds would appreciate the tangy sherbert, and other times, I liked the sweet, nutty one, like pralines n cream. Occasionally, I would come into the store and be introduced to a new wacky ice cream, like cotton candy. Baskin Robbins tried to create a favorite for all of its customers. Their goal was to have a flavor for every day of the month. My least favorite ice cream choice was the bubble gum one, not because of how it tasted but because of the cleanup work involved. Every Friday and Saturday night, after the movies let out, swarms of kids would come in and buy scoops of bubble gum ice cream and spit out the gum after it started to taste like wax, which inevitably landed and stuck to the floor. I had the pleasure of being the one who scraped and mopped the floor clean after we closed.

Sometimes I find parenting teens like the Baskin Robbins 31 flavors. We have choices in how we parent every day of the month. Some days we're presented with the sweet, tangy, and wacky, and some days we're given the goo on the ground that has to be scraped off and cleaned. As my children mature at their own speed, I'm learning to release control and allow them to take control. Lately, my common phrase to my kiddos has something to do with them making their own choices, which can lead to benefits or consequences.

It's incredibly uncomfortable to be a bystander when you watch your loved ones make decisions that are not the most beneficial, but you do it anyway. When you know the consequences will sting, you allow it so they can learn and grow from it. Parents, when we save our children all of the time, our children lose the opportunity to use it and gain from it. Instead of going into their bedroom, go to the throne room and release it there.

"Rise during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer, pleading for your children." ~Lamentations 2:19 NLT

My kids don't know that I have been doing this (now they do☺) but I have created an email account just for them with their life updates and testimonies. I can't wait for them to read their personal stories and see how they bounced back to their comeback.

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