Friday, August 15, 2008

8/15/08 The Farmer's Market

This so un-California, but I'm really not much for farmer's markets. So far I've mostly found stuff that's more expensive than in supermarkets, it goes bad faster, and of limited quality and variety. I know great farmer's markets exist, but the few times I've been to them, I just haven't found one.

Until today, thanks to my firstborn, indirectly. And it happens to be the closest farmer's market to our house (our real house, not the rental).

See, Gabriel had a pediatrician appointment today, for an ear check and hearing test.

Which he passed fine, and there's no fluid in his ears. He had been having trouble hearing a few weeks ago, but now he's fine. We waited too long between the "WHA-AT?" and the appointment, I'm afraid. This intermittent hearing problem is a tough one to pin down. But, I'm glad he's OK for school starting next week.

Anyway, after his appointment, I took him to join the CDC kids on their walking field trip to the farmer's market. It wasn't hard to find the large group of kids all wearing red T-shirts. They were lined up, just about to walk back to the CDC to make lunch with the spoils of their visit to the market. Gabriel joined his pal Parth in line.

(I sure hope Parth is in Gabriel's first-grade class this year.)

But what a treat for me! I loved this market. Lots of fruit, flowers, cheeses, and some baked goods too (it was tough to resist), all in abundance and looking glorious and inexpensive. I bought some golden raspberries that are out of this world, for an unprecedented $2 a basket.

I'm definitely going to be going back there, and before I unwittingly spend over $15 on cherries at Whole Foods. This morning I knew $5.99 a pound was a bit expensive for cherries, but it was just a little bag...except that that little bag weighed over 2.5 lbs -- I just about swallowed a pit when I read the total cost on the receipt!

I've always liked watching Olympic swimming. I can't explain why. Ostensibly, it's boring, but I find the shorter races thrilling (not so much the 800m and above though). And now with the Phelps phenomenon, I'm totally hooked. I never fail to choke up when they play the anthem for his nth gold medal.

But I really lose it when I see Phelps' mother. They show shots of her every time he swims, in all states: nervous before a race, cheering him on, shocked, thrilled. And when he points to her in the stands after winning...oh lordy. I watched an interview with her when she talked about her boy, and the social struggles he had as a gawky kid, but how much she loved him and supported him, and it was so touching.

I have a newfound inkling of what she's experiencing: bursting with pride and love at the accomplishment of your son. When people ask me how I feel about Gabriel starting first grade, that's my answer: overwhelming, consuming pride. I look at Gabriel, this burgeoning person, this amazing unique boy who I brought into this world, and marvel at the miracle. His own accomplishment is nothing short of Olympian: growing up. And as he does, his childhood becomes part of my past, just as he is my present now, and as he embodies my future. When he was first born, I thought the depth of my new love for this tiny squishy baby would never be matched. I had no idea.

...just watched Dara Torres finish first in the 50m freestyle semi-final...haul' ass!! It's such a cliche, but I just have to say it: You go girl!


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