Unforbidden Fruit

The other night I presented my children with a rare, sugary gift.  Ice Cream Store.  Three flavors to choose from: Mint Chocolate Chip, Cookies and Cream, and Vanilla.  And toppings from their mother’s usually inaccessible cake decorating bin.  I expected excitement (which they delivered on).  What I did not expect: heartfelt hugs and repeated declarations of how much they loved me. Could ice cream have such a positive impact on our relationship?  But then what really got me thinking.  After the store closed they did everything I asked them to do — they put on their pajamas, brushed teeth, and got into bed.  Was it that simple?  By satisfying my children’s physical desires I could gain affection and cooperation!  But it goes deeper than that, I think, even deeper than the feeling of wanting to listen to others when they do nice things for us.  It goes to who we are — souls AND bodies.  We need to remember that we don’t just need to love the soul of a person.  We also, and even more so, need to love the body.  Doing a material favor is worth a lot.  Yes, it’s important to be frugal when it comes to satisfying our own appetites, but when it comes to others…give and give again.