Mother and Daughter
Lucien-Philippe Moretti (French)
When I was a little girl, I hated lima beans. My mother would cook them, and everyone else would eat them except me. I couldn't stand the texture of them, and I would leave them on my plate. One summer evening my mother got very angry, and she made me sit at the table until I had eaten every bean. The other kids were outside playing and I was sitting at the table, glumly looking at the unappealing little pile of pale green legumes that were staring back at me.
"Go ahead... eat us... we dare ya...!"
My mother and I finally came to a compromise, and I was allowed to go outside and play if I ate half the beans. But, the only way I could bear to eat them was to peel them, so I very carefully peeled every bean, ate the insides, and left the little pile of bean skins on the corner of my plate. The only problem is, this process took so long that by the time I was finished, the sun had set. My mother was determined and I was stubborn. Neither one of us won the stand-off, and from that day forward, the very sight of lima beans would make me gag.
Yesterday while I was grocery shopping, I found myself putting a bag of lima beans into my cart. What's this? What am I doing? Well, I thought, what harm could there be in trying them? So this evening I decided to cook the lima beans. I took them out of the refrigerator, and I heard myself saying, "Well, Mom, will you take a look at this. I'm cooking lima beans -- voluntarily -- and I'm going to eat them..." At that moment I could smell my mother's Chanel No. 5 perfume, and I heard her distinctive laugh. "Noooooo...!" she said as she laughed.
I don't believe in ghosts, but at that moment my mother was right there in my kitchen with me, as though she were in corporal form, and I laughed with her. It was as if we were both remembering that summer evening years ago, and the lima beans, and for a few minutes we shared that moment again.
As we zip back and forth through time, I wonder if we realize the small events in our lives that will bind us to the people we love. I think I will always have a fondness for lima beans now. And yes, I ate the lima beans, and they were delicious.