A few months ago, Craig decided that we were going to grow our own tomatoes in the backyard.
SOUNDS GREAT, HONEY. SURE, I said, after laughing hysterically.
He and Chase ignored my skepticism, as always, and went to the store to buy these funny things.
They explained that out of these little teeny thingamajigs would grow big stalks of some kind that would sprout huge, juicy tomatoes. Uh-huh, I said. And then will we climb the big stalks and visit a giant who lives in the clouds and then ride our unicorns back home? Because that scenario seemed more plausible than our family actually growing anything edible.
But as always, my forever optimistic husband and son forged on, while Tish and I mocked them. And by God, it started looking like they might actually pull off the magic bean trick. Those tiny beans actually turned into little sprouts, which turned into stalks, which the boys planted in the backyard and pruned and loved and “checked” constantly. After school everyday Chase ran outside to check the plant progress. NOTHING YET, he’d report.And then one day he ran back inside giddily and yelled, MOMMY! THERE’S A TOMATO ON ONE OF THE STALKS!!! And I said NO WAY and followed him outside and he was right, there was. And it grew and grew and others popped out and they grew and grew but then the weirdest thing kept happening. The tomatoes would get big and turn yellow and Chase would beg to pick them but I’d say …no, no, they’re not ripe yet – tomatoes are red, honey… so we’d wait and wait. And then one day we’d go outside and discover that our yellow tomato had fallen off the stalk and turned into mush on the ground. And this same thing kept happening over and over again.
It was really depressing actually, and horrifying to Chase, who had worked so hard to bring the magic beans to life, and who has so much faith in the system. Any system, really.
Last week my mom was visiting and asked how the tomatoes were doing. I told her the whole story, how none of the tomatoes would ripen – how they’d just go straight from yellow to mush, how they never even TRIED to be red… how we had the laziest, most clueless tomatoes ever.
And she said … “Honey, do you think maybe they were yellow tomatoes?”
I just need to pause for a moment.
Kay. WHAT IN THE SAM HILL ARE YELLOW TOMATOES? AND WHERE DOES ONE LEARN ABOUT THEM? Where? How? When?
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