Homesteading, Organic Gardening, How to Farm, Preparedness, Self-Reliance
I really enjoy a trip to the Farmer's Market. I love to browse all of the fresh produce, many homemade and natural products, and different crafts that local growers and artisans have produced. This past weekend my son and I took a trip to one of the local market's in our area with a list of organic veggie's and fruit to get, primarily for juicing. We were looking for Kale, Swiss Chard, Broccoli, Cucumbers, Italian Parsley, Romaine Lettuce, and Spinach. We also had a request for Pears but we came to find out that there are no locally produced ones yet this season. We did find a lot of Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots, and some Apples.
After looking through a few of the vendor's booths I made my selections and had some beautiful produce to take home. While we were at the last booth checking off the final items on the list, my four year old son sees a young girl walk by with a balloon figure of a bee. In his most innocent and sweet way he asks "Daddy, can I have one?". Now I try really hard not to spoil my kids by giving in to every request for "I want this and I want that" but he had been so good all morning I couldn't in good conscience say no. So, with an arm full of produce, off we go to find the balloon twister person to make a bee. What do you know, there are both a face painter and a balloon modeler as they're called right in front of the main entrance to the market, we hadn't seen them before because we had come in from one of the side entrances. We get in line and there are only three children in front of us but little did I know, they were only the line keepers. More and more children keep showing up, evidently brothers and sisters of the ones left in line to hold their spot. Then three moms show up, each holding additional children in their arms. OK, this is going to be awhile so I try to talk to my son and tell him that the line is a little too long and that we can get a balloon next time. If you are a parent, you know that feeling of seeing complete disappointment and sadness in your child's face and you never want to be the cause of it. This was one of those times so I bit my lip and we waited in line.
It took quite awhile for all of the little Princesses and Knights to get all of their Crowns and Swords and Magic Wands made and fitted properly but it was finally our turn. When the balloon modeler asked my son what he wanted he asked for a yellow and black Bee with stripes. I thought it was so cute that after seeing all of the stuff the kids ahead of us had asked for he still just wanted his little bee. It is times like that when I know that we are on the right track with our children. That they are learning at these very young ages to appreciate this earth and all of things in it in a way that most children seem to be missing out on. Sorry, that's just the proud parent coming out in me.
So we are all set, got our veggies and our fruit and our bee, now it's time to go. As we started walking, my son was just jabbering away about his bee and what they do and how it flies and where it's wings are and where his legs are and where his stinger is and that his stinger won't hurt because this one is not sharp. He was making it fly up and down and all over the place and as it swooped low to the ground one of the wings must have hit a sharp pebble and POP! I couldn't believe it! After all that time it literally lasted five minutes. Well, needless to say, my son was very upset. With tears running down his face he kept asking if we could go back and get him fixed. No we can't was my answer, we've got to stop at a store and get a few more things. Please dad, please, please, please. You guessed it, back we go.
But wait, this story is only half told. When we get back to the market and get to the balloon modelers stand again, there are now eight children in line. More Crowns, Swords, Magic Wands, and a really really cool Green Alien. Finally, there is only one little girl left in front of us and she asks for something completely different than all of the other children, a Lady Bug. As the modeler is making this little girl her Lady Bug, my son turns too me and quietly asks if we can get one of those for his sister. Wow, what a great kid I have! He is such a thoughtful little guy, thinking of his sister while she is home with Mom. When it is our turn, he asks for his Bee to get new wings and then asks if he could get a Lady Bug like that one for his sister. When we have them both, dad gets to carry them to the car this time to preserve their limited lifespan and we are finally headed home. When we get there he is so excited to show off his Bee and give his sister what he got for her. They play for hours flying around with their Bee and Lady Bug, too cute for words.
I have thought a lot about our trip to the Farmer's Market and our little experience with the Balloon Creatures. You know, I was very tempted to say no when he first asked for a balloon. I was then more than tempted to make him leave when we had to wait in that line the first time and even tried to talk him in to it. I also wanted to say no when his Bee's wings popped and I kinda did. I wanted to scream when we got back to the line and there were so many kids in front of us the second time. But, I am so glad I didn't make him leave. I learned a lot about my little boy that day, about the personality he is developing. I would have ruined his excitement to get that bee and I would have squashed the thoughtfulness he showed for his sister by asking to get her something too. In the grand scheme of things, it was not that big of a deal but it will be a fond memory I will have for a very long time.
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