Which to choose? So many colors, so many designs, even a choice of shape and size. Would it be long and thin? Or short and round? Short and round won every time; I'm not sure why, but most likely because long and thin came only with thin stripes of color. Short and round? Oh, my, circles, swirls, specks, even fat stripes of color. To this day, I buy taffy by color and design.
And, so, the process began...two of those, three of these. Mom quietly urged vanilla, but I refused. I didn't want plain white, not in a world full of color.
I'm sure the summer help impatiently tapped their toes and sighed inwardly. Would this child EVER get done choosing? Why didn't her mother just buy the box of assorted? Mom, God bless her, realized that the fun was as much in the choosing as it was in the eating.
Clutching my treasure, we headed for the benches and some people watching - an agonizing time for me. If I stretched and strained, I could just make out the rides at the far end of the boardwalk. I didn't get the people watching bit, but I knew it was my end of the trade off for a few rides. So, I pretended to watch while I chomped each piece of taffy that Mom carefully doled out. Left to my own devices, I would inhale the stuff, but left to Mom's devices, I learned to stretch and savor each piece, because no matter how we tried, we couldn't hurry her. I knew we'd get there, but it'd be on Mom time, no other.
A bag of taffy sits now on my dresser, luring me with whispers of deliciousness. Mom taught me well, though, and I carefully portion out a few pieces each day. And, with each piece come memories of Mom and a taste of summer.