Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Two Perfect Oranges

Occasionally, I experience "magic moments", times that were just so good, you cannot recreate them. They live with you for decades and you remember them as clear as the day and minute they occurred. I had one tonight and it was a long time coming.

A few things to know about me:

1. My boys are picky eaters. At almost 3, they are squashing my "fire" as a cook.
2. I don't really like oranges.

When I was about 15, I was over at my best-friend's house. Her name was Lisa. And she was the quintessential best friend and the exact kind you hope for your kids to have during their school years. I still miss her today. My memories of her are so rich and easy to recall.

It was an ordinary day, we were at her house. I cannot recall anything else about that day. I don't know why I was there or what we did that day, with the exception of about 20 minutes. I can't explain WHY this is what I remember, but it is. She pulled out an orange. Although we had them at our house, it was always something my brothers liked, not me. They were odd. They had this white stuff I could not get off. They had weird skin, I just did not eat them. I couldn't even peel them.

We were laughing, talking about boys and school in general, I'm sure. She peeled the orange. We sat on top of her kitchen counter. The orange was so cold and so sweet, I forgot about the weird skins and enjoyed the sweet, juicy burst of sunshine that slid down my throat. It was, in a word, magic. I remember those 20 minutes like they were last week. I have not enjoyed an orange since that day. Until this evening.

Jamie playing with trains.

2 Oranges in the fridge. I must have been thinking about Lisa when I was in the grocery store and bought them. Taking a chance on loving them the way I did in that moment so long ago.

I don't know how to peel them. I had to use a sharp knife. I grabbed the orange and a napkin and took it to the table.

Nathan at the table eating Jamie's grilled cheese.

He asked for a Peach. A tiny piece.

Me: Nathan, this is an orange. Orrrr anggge.

I struggle to get the weird white stuff of the orange. I fail. I hand it to him anyway. He pops it in his mouth. Weird look on his face. Oh well. I'm not that fond of them either. Then... he gets this grin on his face.

Nathan: ORANGE!!!

I take a bite. It's sweet and juicy, unimaginable sweet, almost cartoon-esque in the absolute richness of the orange flavor. DE-LICIOUS!

Nathan and I took turns eating pieces of the orange. Tiny pieces and big pieces. White weird stuff and all. Chunky, odd-shaped pieces because I can't peel the orange so that it is a perfect wedge. Not like Lisa, but this...this was a magic moment. Me and Nate. Nate and me. Just the two of us, eating the only other perfect orange in the whole, wide, world.

I think I just might like oranges, maybe, a little bit.

~ Orange-i-licious Mama

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