When I was little and lived in the community of tiny half-dilapidated apartments, my friends and their families were as close to me as my own family. Whenever a new sister or brother was born to one of my friends’ family, we all went to visit the hospital together to meet the new-born.
When I was four years old, one of my two childhood best friends’ brother was born. That time, my other close friend had a sister two years younger than us and I had a brother three years younger than us. We all went to meet the new-born baby at the local hospital.
Once we got there, my friend’s mother greeted us in the bedroom and when we asked for the baby, she showed him to us. We children were all speechless with curiosity and wonder on our faces. Then my friend’s little sister came running with a tangerine in her hand.
She was going to give the tangerine to the baby as a gift, but her mother caught her.
“Honey, where did you get this tangerine from?”
Apparently, she got it from somebody else’s bedside table. As soon as her mother learned this, she dashed to the bedside and returned the tangerine quickly, apologizing.
My friend’s little sister was a very active girl, and when she was small, I remember her mother often chasing her apologizing to other people whenever she did something out of line from adults’ perspective.
But that day’s incident was special because the tangerine felt to me like her welcome gift to this baby boy. Even though the memory of our visit to the hospital is not entirely clear my head, that bright shiny tangerine held in my friend’s sister’s little hand has never lost its colour in my eyes.