Ever the social animal, his plan for keeping me occupied was simple: go to the Bamboo Drive-In. This was a kitschy little fast-food drive-in with two single arches over a tiny building; it was owned and operated by his buddy, and it also happened to serve the best soft serve in town. Daddy would drive me over, score a free cone (because that's what friends do - they give you free stuff for your kids because to charge you would seem petty and cheap), and have a nice little visit with his buddy while I dribble-licked the fast-melting mountain of ice milk that was slowly softening the crispy cone.
Of course, I don't remember the exact details of my first visits - I was only two, and that was a million years ago. However, I do recall how excited I felt each time we drove past the Bamboo Drive-In in subsequent years, and how wonderfully thrilling it was when Daddy actually pulled into the lot. He would take us back, my sister and I, quite a few times in the years to come, until the Bamboo switched ownership, stopped giving us free cones, and eventually closed its doors.
Now that Little L is two, and also showing a taste for ice cream, I hope to create a similar memory for her, particularly with Hubbs. I hope that she will get that same giddy feeling inside when he takes her out to the ice cream shop (even if it's DQ and not a cute indie parlour), and I hope that one day she, too, will be able to look back at her early years and think fondly of her Daddy spending time and bonding with her over a sweet creamy ice cream cone.
And maybe, just to remember Dad today, I might pop in and get one myself.