The mango's downfall is a different story. Even though Avocado Sr. probably won't sprout, our mango seed just never seemed right and got worse looking every day. The fuzzy exterior left from the flesh of the fruit wouldn't come off no matter how much I scrubbed it. And its color and texture from soaking in the water made me think this is what the flu looks like, even though we changed the water everyday just like the directions said. Or, more accurately, like I thought the directions said.
I'm fairly certain, though less-so now than before, that Ace and I read through those directions several times when we planned to plant them. While procrastinating doing the heaping pile of dishes from my husband's barbecue adventure today, I continued to stare at the sad little mango seed sitting in a jar of water on the window sill above the sink. I had another mango in the refrigerator and really was craving a smoothie, so thought it was a win-win-win to further my procrastination with smoothie making and Mango Jr seed pre-planting.
As I was cleaning the mango seed, still strangely fuzzy like before, I noticed it was split a little on the side. Uh oh, another disaster mango. Hopefully Ace hasn't noticed what I'm doing yet. Then I remember reading something about cutting or scoring the mango seed in order to help it germinate, so maybe the split is a good thing. I double check the website.
During this reread/skim, I briefly notice a word I have no memory of from before. It causes me to pause, go back to the top, and start reading again, slowly. Yep, there it is again, husk. Husk! Are you kidding me? Mango seeds are surrounded by a husk! "Cut away the mango's flesh to find the seed husk. Carefully cut away the husk to reveal the seed." Well, sh*t, no wonder Mango Sr. looks so pathetic. He's not even the mango seed. Ace and I, because I'm not taking all the blame for this one, hadn't even gotten to the seed.
It's possible I'm overreacting. I also, hopefully, taught them that failure is just another kind of learning, often the most realistic kind, and that we are more defined by what we do after we screw up than by what we did in the first place. So here's to the health of Avocado Sr. and Mango Sr. May you sprout quickly and grow into happy little plants for Ace and Zee to marvel at briefly, forget about often, and pick leaves off of because it's obviously fun.
And here's to mamas finding the time to read all the directions or being better at faking it when we don't. May you create joy and excitement in your kids' lives through pure-hearted manipulation, cover-up stories, and do-overs.
© Erin Croley