Saturday, April 14, 2012


The Oldest came for dinner tonight, a few minutes late, a little bit scruffy, but for dinner as we usually do at some point each week. I made Caribbean ribs and sweet potatoes. The apartment was full of fragrance when he arrived.

We hugged, made awkward small talk, and then he pulled two Ataulfo mangoes out of a bag. He didn't know how much I love mangoes, or that Ataulfo mangoes are my favourite of the few varieties we get in Canada (aside: my Brazilian friend once told me there are more than 30 varieties of mango in Brazil. I was jealous).  He only knew that he didn't want to show up empty-handed for once. He had looked for a gluten-free and sugar-free dessert to share with me (I guess he didn't know I've given up on the sugar-free once again), and this was what he found.

Moments like this are magical, and hard. In moments like this he's my son - loving, thoughtful, giving boy I raised. I showed him how I cut a mango, since he was unsure. We divided it between two bowls, stirred in the thickest creamiest Greek vanilla yogourt, and savoured the sweetness while the ribs finished cooking.

Sometimes dessert first is best.

He is not okay. I have to remember that in times like this. He quit yet another job because "they were assholes." He doesn't really know where he'll live at the end of the month. He's still estranged from almost all of his family except me and The Little One. I asked, as I always do, what professional help he's ready for. He still has no answer to that.

And yet, he brought mangoes. Sweet, juicy, healthy, dripping with sunshine mangoes. He thought of someone else, not just himself and drug-getting and survival. He stood in a store, and looked at options, and considered what would be best for someone besides himself.

He laughed at dinner - relating a story of something silly a friend did. His laugh was like sunshine filling the room. It must have been because we ate the mangoes first.

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