A red (like a tomato) letter day….

When future generations of historians decide to look back on this particular date, I hope they will take into consideration the fact that today, of all days, J ate tomato for the first time.  I mean seriously a tomato…not tomato sauce, not ketchup, not pizza or pasta sauce…  I mean an actual tomato…grown in our garden…picked from one of our plants…ripened to perfection on the vine…sliced in our kitchen with the same dinky knife we use for all other tomatoes…

Not only did J taste the first chunk of tomato that I, foolishly hoping for a miraculous development that completely varied from the usual “I am a vampire and that is garlic, madam!” reaction that fruits and vegetables cause.  Or imagine Ferdinand the Bull sitting on that bee…


I’ve been pleasantly surprised (and ultimately, because I don’t get enough when the plate goes around) by J’s love of avocados.  I have been encouraged and fortified by his willingness to eat carrots in his egg-white omelets and egg salad, cauliflower in his scrambled eggs, pumpkin in his French toast, peas and broccoli just for the fun of it, spinach in almost anything…

Tomatoes, however, were the verboten fruit.  Until tonight.  That first chunk of tomato was a gateway chunk of tomato…

We had tacos for dinner.  This, as you might already know, is an exciting prospect for J because he loves the texture and smell of the home-made tortillas, the juicy chicken fresh off the grill, the yellow rice, the melting cheese…  I simply decided to try handing him a chunk of tomato.  I wanted to dance around the kitchen when he put it in his mouth and chewed it, and when he actually ATE it and asked for more I wanted to step on the balcony and do my best Madeline Kahn singing “Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life…” in Young Frankenstein, but I figured it would be inappropriate…

I didn’t make a fuss because if J sees I’m making a fuss he might think “I’ve just made my middle-aged mother happy…what am I THINKING????!!!!”  Dada walked into the kitchen and, after much exertion with the body language and the eyebrows, he noticed that he, too, was witnessing a miracle.  TGG, squeaking like Anthony Michael Hall in Sixteen Candles, tried to act non-chalant about the amazing developments of the evening.

J enjoyed his tacos.  J loved the rice.  J trilled happily throughout the meal, smiling and beaming like he’d just won a big prize.  We were excited, impressed, happy, surprised…feet looking for other feet under the table for the equivalent of a high-five.

Unless you’re the parent of a picky eater, or your kid is autistic and has gone out of his/her way to stick to a monochrome menu for years, you can’t really understand the thrill of tomatoes at dinner. Twenty years (give or take) eating tomato-related products, and about fifteen years fishing out chunks of tomato skin from sauces…  And then, out of the blue, on a hot summer night, someone (who has been attempting the same stunt with faith and planning that are equal only to Evel Knievel’s) hands you a chunk of tomato and you eat it…

Have you seen Kristen Bell talking about how she is fine as long as she is between 3 and 7 in the emotional scale?  Have you seen Kristen Bell reacting to a sloth?

That is EXACTLY what I felt like inside watching J eat tomato…

So let’s not talk about when he started munching on lettuce.  OK?

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