The apple corer lay in a glistening puddle of juice on the kitchen counter. Bits of pulpy, crushed apple poked from its center, and a few blackish-brown seeds tumbled into the puddle.
Mia and Lauren sat crunching on apple halves. While I cleaned the kitchen -- a task that is never actually complete around here -- they talked. About birthday parties and pajamas and stories. Then, before I could get the apple's remnants wiped away, Mia piled all of the seeds into a group. She held them in her palm, poking at them.
"Mom, what's inside an apple seed?"
I hate it when she asks questions I don't know how to answer. Which happens on a daily basis.
"Hmm. I think it must be all of the ingredients that are needed to grow an apple tree." There. Hope that sounds detailed enough to be believable but simple enough to not confuse me later if the questions continue.
She walked around for a few minutes, seeds in hand. Little bits of promised fruit. Her favorite fruit.
"You know what?" She'd come to a stop before the door to the hallway, her head tilted with a plan. "We need to plant these and have our OWN apple trees! We'll wait until it's a hot, hot summer day, and then dig a few holes, and plant the seeds. Doesn't that sound like a good idea?!"
"It does!" I got an improbable image of a tiny orchard popping up in our back yard. Dropping warm apples on our September lawn in a few (like a few dozen) years.
"Yeah!" she continued. "But we'll have to be very careful to do it only in the summer, when no animals are out looking for food. We'll dig them in niiiiiice and deep. That way, no creditors will find them."
I was genuinely puzzled.
Until I realized how closely creditors rhymes with predators.
Then I nodded, imbuing each bob of my head with the wisdom of a sage. Of course we'd be careful of the creditors.
We all know how much they'd love to steal our hard-won apples.