My mom tells a story about a child who, when asked what color a banana is, replied, “White.”
I took Peanut and Butter to the playground as part of a whirlwind “let’s get out of the house even in the rain because I might kill both of you if the whining and the hitting and the jumping off couches continues” morning. Long walk, quick grocery trip, and playground. Peanut romped all over like a madman while I introduced Butter to the finest pleasure of all time: Acme sourdough baguette with Cowgirl Creamery Cheese. I selected a Mt. Tam because nothing says rainy day at the park like a ripe, triple cream brie.
Peanut got wind that we were basking in Bay Area deliciousness and joined us. Both boys would take a bite, then run off to climb or slide or play. Then come back for another bite. We must have had 7 or 8 minutes of bliss before it all went to hell again. That almost-ten is pretty good ’round these parts. See the rest of this blog if you doubt that assertion.
And after the spell was broken, we were all full of organic, local fat and carb-y goodness, a handful of kids from the nearby middle school came running over. Three grabbed empty swings and another started to mount the swing next to a land-based Peanut.
One of his friends reprimanded him, saying, “Hey, I think that kid was using that.” The boy, startled, asked Pea if he was, in fact, using the swing. Peanut shook his head, “no,” and the boy recovered his momentum into the saddle.
And as my five-year-old watched these teenagers swing, I listened to them.
“Don’t rob a green banana!”
“Don’t kill a green banana!”
“What’s a green banana?”
“Well, old people are brown bananas.”
I looked at my boys. One is a very, very green banana. One is barely an apple banana (the teeny tiny bananas that are so cute you want to just keep them in your sock drawer and coo at them).
And as I digested the bliss that came from the previous moments of culinary and parental joy, I realized that I’m neither a green nor a brown banana. I’m neither underripe nor overripe. Probably freckled with brown but not splotchy yet. Yellow. Somewhere between tomorrow and yesterday on the ripeness spectrum. And maybe, when I make it out from under the weight of all that is life, when I and step out for a moment or two as my own person in 20 years or so, maybe I’ll still have enough yellow left to do a few things, say a few things, and change a few things in this world.
You feeling green or brown or yellow today?
I feel quite like a white banana, under my peel.