The Coconut

The Coconut

My 12 year old son got it in his head that a coconut must be delicious!  He likes how they smell.  He’s had coconut desserts.  He loves Almond Joys.  A coconut must be delicious too.  He dreamed of how the coconut milk would taste and what it would be like to crack open this exotic fruit and scrape out the white tasty insides.  So for the entire summer, he has been on the lookout for coconuts.  Our regular grocery store seemed to be chronically out of them, which didn’t bother me.  I didn’t think that he was actually serious about it.  But he definitely was.

Eventually, we went to a less-traveled grocery store and happened upon a coconut.  As he was reading the directions, we realized that with some coconuts, the milk is not considered safe to drink.  So he also found a can of coconut milk and begged me to buy it.  So for $3 all together, I indulged my son, warning him that it may not be quite what he had been dreaming about.  For a week or two, that coconut sat next to the bananas, giving me dirty looks every time my glance fell upon it.  I knew that it wasn’t going to be quite what he was hoping for, and in addition to that, it was going to be difficult to get into!  Likewise, every time I opened the refrigerator, that can of coconut milk glared at me because he swore that it would taste even better chilled.

Finally an open evening coincided with his memory of the deliciousness of a coconut, so he begged to have coconut for dessert.  After dinner that evening when the dishes were done, I got out a corkscrew and popped a couple of holes in the coconut, letting the watery juice drain out.  Then, following directions, I got a sharp knife, positioned it on the coconut’s equator and tried with all my might to get through the tough coconut shell. I actually had to request a mallet from the garage to try to force it through. This part of the process took almost ten minutes before we actually made significant progress. And even then, it was a very difficult and slow process with little taps and pushes. But finally, the coconut began to give way – its crooked crack seemed to take forever to spread to a point that it could actually open up. But with my son’s help, it finally broke apart, much to his great delight! He couldn’t wait to take a bite! I scraped some of the white insides out, rinsed it off and divided it among the three children. They all took a much anticipated bite only to find that it tasted awful! A mix between wood and soap, raw coconut is not what they expected. They were extremely disappointed but held out hope for the coconut milk. I punctured the can, much easier than the coconut itself, and poured out what looked and tasted like Elmer’s glue. A second disappointment…

So I scooped up a few bowls of ice cream which was far and above what they could of wanted with the coconut. Severely disappointed, they were happy to eat down a different type of creamy white goodness. But I never let it slip that I knew the coconut would be so awful.


Sometimes, in life, we have designs for what we think we want. We have plans for what we believe is best for our lives. God knows better, but we think that we know the desire of our hearts. We want that coconut, even if it will be impossible to get into and taste awful. We want that coconut milk, tasting of glue, poured into our cup, even if it’s not good for us. Even when God is wanting to give us ice cream, we dream of that coconut. Perhaps we should give up that coconut dream and realize that ice cream would be so much better!