I told her that it’s ok to eat watermelon seeds; that you won’t grow a watermelon in your belly. She used to believe that, when she was really little. Sometimes I miss those days.
Besides, the seeds of a seedless watermelon are so tiny they’re barely noticable. Not like the hefty black watermelon seeds of my childhood. I’d like to see kids these days try to have a seed-spitting contest with the new generation of seeds.
But back to the conversation with Macy.
She didn’t pause for even one second to ponder the incredible gift of fortune that is hers, simply by being born into a family whose matriarch set such a high standard of child-rearing and lunch-packing that her descendant (that’s me) is seriously picking seeds out of watermelon cubes at 6:45 a.m. on a Thursday. Nor did she remark upon the bounty of produce that is available in Texas in January. She knows not of seasonal fruits & veg.
She did not bow her head momentarily in thanks for the numerous gifts that are hers, just by chance and birthright.
She wanted to know one thing: if you did grow a watermelon in your belly, would you poop it out or barf it out?
Because I’m so busy picking seeds out of watermelon cubes and endlessly matching orphaned socks warm & fluffy from the dryer, I didn’t have time to go to med school or get an advanced degree in child psychology or pursue a curriculum of horticulture. So I don’t know the answer to her question. I’d guess both.
In an effort to instill my daily dose of guilt into my kids’ life, I told her it must be really great to have someone make your lunch every day. Breakfast, too, for that matter. I could get used to that. (Except, let’s be honest: I’m pretty picky and would likely end up re-doing it anyway, while trying to avoid making eye contact with the gift horse.)
I asked her this: when I’m old and gray and have no teeth, will you pick the seeds out of my watermelon for me?
She said: If you don’t have any teeth, how are you going to chew? Will I have to do that for you, too? Why not just get dentures?