My earliest memories of strawberry milk come from my initial school days. My mom, being a teacher, would get ready along with my sister and me for school every morning and my dad was the one who dropped us off before heading off for work, so we had a whole carton of strawberry milk at home which we would all pick up before leaving.
And they weren’t so bad either; that is, only when they were refrigerated.
Warm milk was horrible. It left a putrid aftertaste in your mouth and gave you a horrible case of bad breath. Not the best way to start off your day. We experimented with many brands of strawberry milk over the years and they all, more or less, tasted the same. Every shopping trip to the store would result in an argument between my mother and me over the flavour of milk. Although we did rock a lot back and forth between chocolate, vanilla and banana too, strawberry was the one flavour that dominated our household for a good chunk of my childhood.
Over the years it eventually stopped entering our house and I can’t pinpoint the exact time we stopped regularly buying strawberry milk, but we still bought separate packs rather than whole cartons from time to time.
When my younger brother was born we started buying them again because he seemed to love it and I’ll admit that I would sometimes sneak a pack or two from his share because hey, I was in my adolescent years and I think that’s excuse enough for what I did.
Over time he outgrew it too.
I think every person has their own ‘Strawberry Milk’. The one thing you don’t like that much but don’t question its existence either. You sort of just go with it and get used to it (and sometimes even like it). And over time you grow so accustomed to it that its absence leaves a void in a place you didn’t know existed.
And it is these places we need to appreciate, because it is from these places that we grow.
So here’s to strawberry milk, and all the other things in our lives that seem initially repugnant (though not so much sometimes), only to make a reappearance in the most unlikeliest of ways and make us realise that we might have judged it too harshly at the start.