Picture it: Chicago, the summer of 1989. My little brother and I had invented the very best game in the entire world. We stood atop the steep hill our house sat on and laid in the grass and rolled (while screaming like banshees) down that hill. Stopping only when we reached the rock path that bordered my neighbor’s yard. Then we stood, trudged up that mighty hill and did it all over again. It was a neurosurgeon’s nightmare.
See, my mother would put us out early in the day. The only admonition being, “Don’t go off the block! And don’t keep coming in & out of this house waking up your father.”
My dad, a factory laborer, worked the graveyard shift and it was important that he rested during the day. So we were kicked out of the house and left with our imaginations and one community block to burn off all of that youthful energy. Hence, how the Hill Game came about (clearly, we weren’t geniuses). But that’s how we spent most of the summer when I was 8. And I’ll be honest, I loved every minute of it.
So it’s strange that I’ve turned into the micro-managing maniacal mama most Disney villains are fashioned after. In fact, there hasn’t been one day since school let out that I haven’t wondered if I was being strategic and smart with every second of my kids’ free time. Friends over for the day? I’m checking on them to make sure everyone is taking turns nicely. Playing on their tablets? Hmm, let’s be certain they’re watching only educational videos. At the park? Keeping an eye out to see so that no one is trying to kill the neighbor kids on the swings. Granny’s in town? Make sure she knows they’re only allowed one sugary snack a day. The rest of the candy is for me. Hell, just writing that down made me roll my eyes. Being a control freak is exhausting, y’all.
But, when I found out that I needed to check out Mayfield Ice Cream’s event at Suntrust Park to honor National Ice Cream Day, there was no way I could pass up such a cool way to spend the weekend in Hot-lanta.
I bought us tickets for the big game. Nosebleed seats were the only things available last minute. I grumbled the entire way to the park, upset that I hadn’t been able to over-plan our day and worried the kids would sense how flustered I was. But when we got there and headed to tailgate central for #MayfieldOnTheMove I was pleasantly surprised to see my 7 and 5-year-olds going with the flow and getting along just fine. They played a few games, sampled more than a few of Mayfield’s latest delicacies, and entertained the passersby.
I laughed watching them see who could out-eat the other. For the record, my oldest is a strictly vanilla gal but my boy and his sophisticated palate fancied Lemon Ice Box Pie. I even threw my hat in the ring. No reason to let some perfectly good Smoky Mountain Fudge go to waste! It was a blast. What’s even better is Mayfield Creamery ice cream uses fresh cream from their own dairy. With no artificial growth hormones. And, from family recipes that have been perfected over three generations. They have been making iconic, signature ice cream flavors since 1923.
We made it to our seats (passing, even more, Mayfield kiosks in the stadium much to the kids’ delight) just in time for the first pitch. And there, with treats in hand and a breeze in our hair, everyone was a happy camper. Looking at them enjoying themselves reminded me that less is more. And sometimes, short of rolling down a grassy hill into a pile of rocks, all it takes is a hot dog, a cold scoop and a ball game to have some good summer fun.
You can find your favorite Mayfield Creamery ice cream and frozen novelties at Walmart, Kroger, Publix, Target, and Ingles stores. Here is the Mayfield store locator!