“What do you want to do for dinner?” I asked M on my way to pick C up from daycare.
“I dunno.” He answered, clearly uninspired by my routine question. “What are you in the mood for?”
“Well I did have an idea that’ll make you very happy, but I’m not sure I’m really up for it.”
“Oh yeah? What’s that?”
“Well… It’s a lovely evening and it’s Thursday.”
“Oh!” The excitement comes through loud and clear in M’s voice, swaying me.
“OK, fine. Meet me there, call me when you find a parking spot.”
“Mammy? We eat at Old Mac Donald?” C asks in the car after I pick her up and explain the plan for the evening.
“No sweetie, we’re eating at the Farmer’s Market, not at McDonald’s. I know it’s confusing.”
“We eata hambugeh at the Fahma Maget?”
“No, no, we’re going to have chicken, corn, and a baked potato. We’re also going to get lots of yummy fruit.”
Once C’s confusion is all cleared up and we’ve found a parking spot, I get busy getting my little family out of the car. Little L, the newborn, goes into the stroller. The diaper bag goes on the back. Shit. I forgot to bring a clean bottle and formula. Great. If she wakes up I’ll get to attempt nursing in public for the first time. Maybe I’ll get lucky and she’ll sleep until we get home. C hops out of the car and we make our way to the fray.
By the time M catches up with us C is covered in strawberry juice and we’ve purchased some fruit tarts, organic grapes and some of the strawberries that C is wearing on her face. I can never get over how amazing the fresh produce is here in the Bay Area. Each stand has a bright array of fresh, succulent fruits and veggies. C has mastered the art of the Farmer’s Market; she’s flitting from stand to stand, grabbing samples right and left and charming the socks off all the vendors. She makes friends with all the babies on her way and checks out all the vegetables she sees. We stop for a moment to boogie to the live music then go stand in line for our dinner.
In no time we find ourselves sitting on a bench with our smorgasbord of food spread out around us. I close my eyes for a minute and listen to the sounds around us; happy people greeting friends joyfully, vendors selling their wares, children babbling. The sun is still hours away from setting, but the temperature is perfect and as a warm breeze flows over us I sigh contentedly. It may cost an arm and a leg to live here, but I wouldn’t trade the weather for anything in the world. We tuck in to our dinner and C and I make it through most of our chicken before Little L stirs. 7pm on the dot, three hours since her last feeding. I’m going to have to suck it up and nurse her. (No pun intended…) I get myself set up and soon we’re in business. The only problem is that now I can’t feed myself or C. Graciously M takes over; a spoonful of baked potato for mommy and a spoonful for C.
“I didn’t realize that I’d literally have to feed the family.” M jokes.
“Hardy har.” I respond. “Is the corn still too hot?”
He checks and takes a bite.
“Nope. It’s perfect.” He holds it up so I can taste for myself.
“My want some!” C quips, running over to us.
We pass the warm, sweet, corn back and forth, taking turns biting into it.
“It’s the communal corn!” M laughs!
“That’s the best kind.” I reply. “It’s the stuff memories are made of.”
I don’t know if C will remember an impromptu Farmer’s Market picnic eaten on a bench one warm August evening. I’m pretty sure Little L won’t remember her first outdoor meal. But I really hope I don’t ever forget the first open air meal my little family shared. After all, that was some good corn.