Monday, April 9, 2012

HELP! There's a Tree Growing in Me . . .

Seedlings for our garden (2009)
One of the earliest memories I have is the first time my brother and I got to eat watermelon from the rind.  We were sitting outside on my great aunt’s porch with our dad, and he was teaching us how to shoot the seeds out of our mouths.  We were having a wonderful time until I accidentally swallowed one of the seeds.  My dad, always the mischievous jokester, decided it would be funny to pass on some age old ‘wisdom’ that his father had passed down to him.  He frowned at me and sighed, “Well, it looks like you’ll be growing leaves out of your ears and nose soon!”

Immediately, my brother thought that would be cool, but as for me, I can tell you, I was a lot less enthused!  Not wanting to seem like a crybaby in front of my little brother, though, I just laughed.

However, as the days and weeks passed, I constantly checked my nose, ears, and mouth in the mirror to see if I could glimpse anything green starting to poke out of anywhere.  The more time passed, the more I was convinced that one morning I’d wake up with tree limbs poking out of me in every direction.  I even started having awful dreams about it.

Finally, one night before bed, I asked my dad when the watermelon tree was finally going to grow.  At first, he was completely confused because it had been weeks since the seed-swallowing incident, but then it all came flooding back to him.  He laughed a good, hearty laugh, and then explained that I had nothing to worry about since seeds can’t grow in bellies.

For the longest time, I had forgotten this entire event until about 3 years ago.  My kids and I were having a Fourth of July cookout at my dad’s house.  I was try to teach my son (then 3) how to eat watermelon on his own.  He was chomping enthusiastically on his piece of watermelon when suddenly he got this strange look on his face and started to cry!

I rushed over and took him in my arms, asking him what was wrong.  He sobbed, “I swallowed a seed, Mama!  A tree’s gonna come out my ears!!!”  Apparently, while I was outside manning the grill, my father had been up to his same old tricks and had warned his grandson about the ‘dangers’ of seeds.  How dull life would be without parents . . . and grandparents!


  1. Haha! That is so cruel but amusing
    My Grandma used to tell me if I ate my crusts my hair would go curly... backfired on her as I didn't want curly hair!

    1. My grandmother told me the same thing, so I avoided crust like the plague. Yet, here I am stuck with curly hair. LOL

  2. My Dad used to tell us the same thing.

  3. Funny and what a nice memory to share! We were told that coffee would stunt our growth. Still don't drink it, still short. ;)

  4. Haha! My father used to do things like that to me too. Just think your son will now have fabulous memories and you can torment him with stories of how he used to believe a tree would grow out of him when he gets to college or worse gets married and has kids of his own!

  5. The tricks parents play are mean until you're a parent yourself :)

    I remember when my dad convinced me I was actually driving the car on Mr. Toad's Wild Adventure ride in Disneyland. Then he "reprimanded" me for driving so bad. I was terrified! Funny now, though.

  6. This reminds me of my grandfather. I used to play with my belly button all the time until he told me I was going to break it and shoot around the room like a balloon! lol

  7. Dads & grandpas think its funny to scare little kids. Sorry you had nightmares. I'm sure its funny now but I bet you were scared then.