Back in the Day

Morning duty this week has been cold. So cold, our normally social, dance and run around every chance they can get teenagers have been hanging out in the library. As I stood in the cold, wrapped in my sweater, scarf and pea coat a student walk by savoring a warm beverage.

I smiled at her enjoyment of the drink. She noticing my smile, stopped raised her mug and said, “it’s hot cocoa.” She had that warm hot cocoa smile. Then she confessed, “Not really,” and went on to explain, “It’s warm milk with Hershey’s syrup.”

Stunned at first, I quickly realized that she thought that powdered stuff you add to water was the real hot cocoa! It was my first experience with a generation gap. Not realizing it at the time, I corrected her mistake, “That is how we made hot cocoa before they sold the powdered stuff. You are drinking the real hot cocoa, the powder is instant cocoa.”

Another girl who was walking by overheard the conversation stopped to learn more. “Are you for real?”

You’d have thought I said I walked in the snow or some other hyperbole that adults like to use on kids. “No, really.” I added, “That’s still how I make my cocoa.”

The bell rang and the three of us headed toward our common destination. The conversation ended with the second girl saying as she waved good day, “I’ll have to try that sometime.”

I smiled and thought to myself, “Today is the day I became officially old.”

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