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Back to School

I realize that "back to school" means a lot of things to a lot of people.  For homeschoolers, it means opening the mailbox with anticipation:  boxes of new texts for the new year.  For teachers, it means getting into a hot classroom in August, to prepare for kids in September.  For moms, it is a check list of supplies.  For kids,  it is typically a mix of dread and joy.

"Back to school" for me, growing up, meant a trip to Detroit for shopping.  We would typically stay with my grandma for a few days, and Mom would take me and my two sisters out, one day at a time.  We'd ride the bus - an exotic trip for us country mice.  At night, my sister Martha and I would lay awake in my grandma's front room, listening to the sounds of the city:  car horns and sirens, when we were used to crickets and owls. 

But the best, the VERY BEST, part of the trip:  Sander's.  For those of you not from Michigan, Sander's is an ice cream/candy wonderland, going back generations.  Like Vernor's Ginger Ale (the REAL stuff), it elicits sighs of joy and contentment from those of us who grew up with it.

Mom would take each of us shopping; a day out alone with Mom.  We'd try on jumpers and dresses, shoes and shirts.  Then, we'd head off to Sander's for this: 
Sander's Hot Fudge Cream Puff.

This is pure magic:  a light, crispy cream puff, sweet and perfectly balanced vanilla ice cream, drizzled (but not drowned!) in hot fudge.  Oh, whatever drudgery of the morning lingered - Mom checking your crotch for fit, itchy wool, upset stomach from bus fumes - the bliss of this took care of it.

It took me a few years to realize that Mom was getting this treat three days in a row, but now that I'm a mom, I realize it was sweet payment for the back to school business.

If you're doing the whole back to school thing, take a few minutes for a sweet treat with your child.  The memories are bliss.  And so is the hot fudge.

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