This morning, I put on my finest maternity pool cover up from last summer and took my 8-month-old to the farmers market.
It was a triumphant moment.
When my husband and I were trying to have a baby, going to the farmers market was one of the top reasons we wanted to be parents. That, along with (in no particular order):
- Bring back the wonder of Christmastime (check)
- Be the family who bread bowls together at Panera (double check)
- Not be the weird adults with no kids at Disneyland (soon enough)
For whatever reason, these were the occasions and places that symbolized parenthood to us. And now that I've crossed a new one off of our list, let me tell you -- it was everything I wanted it to be... and more.
Here's why you should go right now:
You can feel good about being in the presence of organic food, even if you're not preparing it for your baby. Once, I spent three hours baking and mashing sweet potatoes before doling them out into mini muffin cups for the freezer. She hated them. The end. Today, I saw some lovely-looking parsnips. Not bloody likely. Just tell your baby, "This is where those little pouches come from!"
It's more of a dress-up occasion than the grocery store. It's like a summer festival, only with thirteen kinds of tiny potatoes. So bust out those sun dresses without feeling like someone will feel sorry for you because you obviously got gussied up to pay your overdue library fines -- which the last Sookie Stackhouse book was totally not worth, by the way.
It feels more adult than the park. It's still outside; it's probably at or near a park, but it's different. It's baby-friendly, but there's free cheese samples for you. So everyone's a winner. Also, if your baby eats any of the grass, just call it "microgreens" and complement her on her mature palate. Plus, I I hear those little green helicopters are in season now, too.
Compare and contrast inside a huge petri dish. While there might only be a few others in your playgroup or Mommy and Me class, here you will be in the presence of literally at least 6,000 other babies. Now is the time to see who is or isn't rolling over, sitting unassisted, standing, walking or open-hand slapping the other kids and adjust your expectations accordingly. And there is so much less sand than the beach!
It feels good to fit in. Oh, lonely hipster guy. I feel so bad for you. No one noticed your outfit. No one wants to share your multiple bags of arugula. You look so out of place amidst this sea of moms, but I know how you feel. I live across the street from The World's Coolest Coffee Shop, where everyone is so underground that they can't be bothered to hold the door for me and the stroller. Ever. It's nice to be among one's own kind.
Someone's listening. I overheard a woman who was dragging her screaming 2-year-old son along say to him, "Someone woke up in a good mood today!" Now, you know -- and I know -- that this boy missed the subtle tinge of sarcasm in her statement. She didn't say this for the boy's benefit; she said it for mine. I heard her. I felt for her. And I hope in that brief moment where we crossed paths in front of the crepe stand, her burden was lessened.
Read more from Liz Kozak at poseypieproductions.com.