My three year old jumps up and down every night at the prospect of brushing with her “new magical strawberry toothpaste.” I always smile: it’s hardly new now – it’s been months – and while it’s the most perfect of fakes, I bet it has nothing to do with real strawberry.

But for some reason, when I open the tube and smell the chemically perfect strawberry clone, it always takes me back to many summers as a child, going to a wooded theme park with my father. Between the river raft ride and the giant log flume was a stand that sold strawberry lemonade. I’d not yet figured out strawberries were great, and I never stopped to get a drink. That theme park is completely gone now, replaced with a giant mall. But every time I put toothpaste on her toothbrush, I go back to that spot. Perhaps it really is magical after all.


This was published on 23 Jul 2006.
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