My grandma would give me papaya when I was a child and sprinkle the fruit, already sweeter than sweet, with sugar.
I’d look at the two halves, that beautiful coral colour and the round black pearls stuck there not wanting to leave. The fruit was enormous and its aroma would invade my nostrils. It’s size was a testimony to the strength of the sun – it just kept on growing, growing, growing until it was ripe and perfect.
Many days and nights passed and adventures of the mundane kind happened. We eventually moved across the globe and aged, lost some of the laughter that comes with sunny, carefree days, our new lives becoming more indoors-oriented and involving fewer papayas. (Close to zero papayas, but who’s counting.)
Some 35 years later, that same grandma is now self-isolating and one day, we decided to drive over with our three-year-olds. We parked the car on the empty front yard of her apartment building and, holding the boys, waved to her. My grandma had opened the window of her 4th floor apartment and we chatted, heads tilted up, her head facing down.
But, true to her nature, that wasn’t all. She had prepared a little surprise for her great-grandkids. Like a long-haired princess in a tower, she had attached a long string to a little bag which she then lowered from the window slowly, ever so slowly. The bag’s journey downwards was a spectacle of its own, very much appreciated by two pairs of eyes aged three, the bag traveling and bumping and descending, approaching the ground with confidant curiosity. The string seemed never-ending.
And guess what wonders the bag held? Upon opening, the traveling tote revealed two ice creams for the boys.
Ice creams! (I scream for ice cream! A voice in my head recalls an 80’s moment. The girl in my memory is barely older than the boys licking ice cream now.)
Slurp, slurp. Great-Grandma is funny! the boys exclaimed while ice cream was melting on one boy’s chin and the other’s coat, on a close-to-zero winter day. Even two weeks later, Great-Grandma was funny that day!
More funny moments, please. I hope those two little boys get to taste large papayas one day. The ones we get imported over here are tiny. It’s not the same, not even close.
The photos are from Aruba, 2012 (almost a decade ago!)