Childhood brings with it all kinds of strange events, especially young childhood, before the age of five or so. We’re so quickly influenced by the world around us that it’s as though a kindergartner has already lived an entire lifetime before starting school.
I could delve into the mystical dimension of this and speak of how aeons before us, the amount of learning an organism would do never even amounted to the amount of knowledge one human child has, and that the process of evolution somehow led us up to where we are now, and that in the future, our children will have progressed far beyond where we are by the end of our lives.
However, I won’t go there.
What I wanted to discuss is actually chocolate milk, which is probably not something you would have gathered from the first few lines.I can remember once in high school someone online in a chatroom ridiculed me for a perspective I held because I was a teenager. You know the stereotype, that adults seem to think teenagers think they know everything, and I, too, fell victim to such attacks. However, unlike most teenagers, I never felt like I knew everything.It’s true, people attacked me in that way, too. Instead, I faced a perpetually horrifying reality of how little I knew and that I could never possibly learn everything, and that life would basically force me to pick a few things and learn those thoroughly and make them my “thing,” while leaving other things to other people.
I also want to point out exactly how strange it is that any adult would make an accusation that someone else is acting like they know everything. The first lesson anyone should get in that they’ll never know anything, and yes, you do have wise people, and yes, many older people can give experiential advice, but many older people are just as stupid as the teenagers they hate, so maybe that’s the real issue- too many people are stupid.
Back to chocolate milk.
Anyway, so the person insulted me, and then I admitted that I did like chocolate milk, and here, today, I’m going to admit that in my early-late 20s, I still love chocolate milk. I mean, what, I’m supposed to sit around and ca-caw about how good the bourbon or whiskey tastes?
No thank ya, ma’am. No thank ya.
Gigi actually did the chocolate milk thing for me and my brother when we were children the opposite of how most people might have done it- she actually bought chocolate syrup and mixed it with milk. Naturally, as my brother and I grew older, we learned this was not a complicated and process, and a few times, the normally slightly pinkish-brownish milk would turn the color of mud, followed by our racing around the house and jumping around and somehow managing to burn off any chocolate we had just consumed.
We also drank Instant Breakfast as children. Now, before you turn Gigi in for child abuse, I want to make the point that we didn’t necessarily drink it in place of a meal. This had nothing to do with her aversion to cooking; she never said, “Okay, Instant Breakfast for dinner, kids.”
And if you also think about it, Instant Breakfast is loaded with vitamins and minerals, not unlike taking a multi-vitamin, so if you have kids of your own and they’re picky eaters, tempt them with the chocolate shake of Instant Breakfast, and there you go.
Another kind of chocolate milk, and actually what I wanted to write about in this blog that’s become way longer than I had intended, is the store-bought chocolate milk at Mama Lay’s house. Mama Lay was my maternal grandmother, and for me, for whatever reason, it’s easier to compare my own temperament to my four grandparents than to my parents; I can see various things that either skipped a generation or something that’s come straight down through us all.
Mama Lay was very quiet and reserved and dignified; in a blog earlier this year, I mentioned that she taught me one of the greatest lessons in life without actually telling it to me. She came from a well-to-do family, and then she met my grandfather, who came from a working-class family. Her family warned her that to marry my grandfather would mean she would have nothing in the way of material possessions in this life.
But she loved my grandfather, and likely in one of those iron-will-in-silence moments, she pushed forth and married him for love instead of for money. Then at my grandfather’s funeral, her siblings remarked they had made such a comment of her, and then they went on to say her life had been the happiest of any of theirs.
So that being a lesson learned, money has never been something that attracts me to someone. Ever.
The chocolate milk from the store tasted different. Very different. It wasn’t bad; in fact, the chocolate milk at Mama Lay’s house was really, really, good! Just different. I can still remember the taste, the wonder, of how this chocolate milk could be different, of why it was different, and I never really understood.
Now that I’m older, I still drink store-bought chocolate milk from time to time, and it admittedly makes great hot cocoa when warmed up. I think the first time I had a fudge-sicle, I was reminded of that chocolate milk flavor, too.
A good addition to the chocolate milk around this time of year, the High Summer, I call it, would be pecan and nut flavorings, I think. This probably goes double for the coming Autumn months.
So what are you waiting for? Get the show on the road and get some chocolate milk!