What is it about the promise of a frozen treat on a hot day that can make a five-year-old wake up in the pitch black of 5:00 am and pad to his mother’s bedside to poke her unceremoniously and ask: “Is it time to make the popsicles?” (No. No, it is not. Not before daylight, and certainly never before coffee.) It is, I suspect, more than just a craving for sugar and cooler temperatures. I’m almost certain, in fact, that it’s the same thing that compelled me to wear a shirt with a repeating pattern of ice-cream parlors on it almost every single day the summer I was six, the feeling that makes me line up even now, when I should know better, for a soft vanilla twist with chocolate sprinkles the minute I see the season’s first ice-cream truck. [More . . . ]

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