Peaches are my favorite fruit. I’ve never cared for the fuzz, but what lies underneath fuzz, on a perfect peach, I am without words to explain.
“My Grandmother never peeled a peach. She just stuffed them in the jar. I don’t know why you bother with all that,” says Farmer.
I am not his grandmother.
Peach fuzz is like that moustache that never should have grown. But until it touches my teeth, that fuzz really doesn’t bother me much.
Summer is glorious, in part, because Farmer shaves. Both head and face are clean of bristles and for that, he is my peach. When winter sets in, the growing hair on his head somewhat reminds me of a hedgehog.
The perfect peach is fat and juicy. But alas, I’ve just been through two full boxes of peaches and some proved grainy, mushy and discoloured.
Each one glowed glorious when I opened the box and removed the first layer to place it inside the box top for ripening. Each was slightly rose coloured and barely green. A few days in the heat, and they softened, showing their true colours.
My kids don’t want to help me with a job in the heat. My patience is short and they too wilt like little cut flowers. Together we don’t last long so it’s best to time those outside jobs for early morning or evening when it starts to cool.
“Why do you have to do that in the heat?” Farmer asked today.
He ate lunch while I spooned the last of the bread and butter pickles into the last jar. This is the first batch I’ve ever made with honey instead of sugar.
It’s a two=day job that started yesterday. I just finished, and it’s still cool inside. Cool, despite the dozen or so jars of canned peaches on the counter behind me.
Farmer’s out in the heat now, cutting slough hay this first weekend of September. Tomorrow the kids start school, joining all the other perfect little peaches on their way into the world.
These peaches will look perfect, but compare themselves to others and find deficits anyway. Some will hide their mushy, grainy feelings, hoping no one notices. Many will learn that fitting in is more important than being oneself if it means risking unwanted attention.
With kids in school, I too will take time to evaluate my peachiness.