On Mangoes and Motherhood

All of the sudden, mangos are everywhere.  It is mango season, and they are here in droves.  Delicious, delightful droves full of juicy sweetness, at every turn.

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The trees are laden with fruits, lolling in the hot sun getting ready to ripen.

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And when the are ripe, they waste no time in finding a prime spot on the roadside seller’s table,

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Soon to be purchased and eaten by the lucky buyer that drives by and chooses a Julie Mango, a Paw Paw Mango, or a Doo Doo mango.

Because eating a perfectly ripe mango fresh from the tree, no matter what type, is truly a divine experience.

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In addition to rapture, the eating of a Trinidadian mango can also evoke laughter and copious amounts of joy.

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Don’t even think about talking to someone before their mango eating experience is complete.

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Trust me, just don’t do it.

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Around here lately, if someone isn’t eating a mango,

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they are talking about them.

In great detail.

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In Trinidad this month, mangos are as omnipresent, and almost as delicious, as motherhood.

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Mother’s day coinciding with mango season made me think about the two of them in unison.

The evocation of pleasure, stickiness,  joy and laughter and  the indescribable  juiciness of mangoes and of motherhood may be a bit obvious.  Both mangoes and motherhood  can be messy and leave stains that can be difficult to get out.

The differences, however, are there too.

  While I imagine the cultivation and harvesting of mangoes is complex, the process of purchasing, peeling, and eating them is pretty simple and straightforward.

Motherhood, on the other hand, isn’t that clear cut.

Yes, the  role of  Mamma is more complex than the role of mango eater.  It is a very weighty title to hold in the palm of your hand.

And in the center of your heart.

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At times, the stress and worry of motherhood finds me putting on the most colorful face I can muster, topped with magnifying glasses to see the problem clearly from all sides.

When all else fails, I find the biggest bottle of pretty red paint I can lay my hands on to fix whatever issue has arisen.

Sometimes this works.

Sometimes it doesn’t.

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At other times, I put on very large dark glasses so that I don’t have to see the problem at all.  Often it either goes away or gets resolved on its own.

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There are certain situations when it is best to  ask Junie to dig around and investigate.

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There are so many things to worry about as a mother these days.

 Finding healthy food for them to eat, knowing what is in the food, and still wanting to give it to them, is a big worry.

(These already unfortunate nitrate and fat sodden sausages had the added insult to injury of being underneath the neon green popsicle shelf during what appeared to be a power outage at the Hi Lo.  )

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Will there be any real forest left for them when they are my age, or will they be climbing trees  manufactured in China?

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Are we serving them too much on a silver platter? Are they learning how to get up when they fall?

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Were they ever really this tiny?

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As mothers, we wish we could all be super heroes for our kids, and never lose sight of what is best for them.

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But the truth is that often times our lenses are foggy and things don’t quite line up.

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We can’t keep them in a plastic bubble.

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We can’t stop

living or letting them grow.

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But we can love them

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in all their delicious sweet juiciness,


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and we can give them fresh mangoes to eat.

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At least while they are in season.


3 thoughts on “On Mangoes and Motherhood

  1. Happy Mothers Day to a wonderful mama! Eat several mangoes in our names. Lots of love from Vermont: your names increasingly populate our conversations about summer. xoxo. Lib

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