The Last Hurrah

"Bam-a-lam, the damn thing gone wild"

Pie and I attended the last farmers' market of the season last night. We ate copious amounts of still-warm kettle corn and enjoyed a performance by a local musician. The kid danced on the sidewalk and spun around until she was dizzy, lurching into the path of passersby. She happened upon a stray nickel on the sidewalk and then waved it exultantly. "Look! I found a quarter!" What can I say, she's got a lot of "joie de vivre."

The last farmers' market does indeed seem to signal summer's end. We have half a bag of leftover kettle corn in the pantry at home and once that's gone, withdrawal will set in. May seems awfully far away.

I bought some potatoes and bi-color corn at the market, which makes it official that I failed to reach a goal I set at the beginning of the summer. I had every intention of learning how to prepare an obscure vegetable of some sort. The hard-working Hmong farmers always have so many interesting things laid out at the farmers' market, but I don't know what the heck they are, so I don't buy them. Many of the farmers don't speak English fluently, so it's difficult to ask, "Hey, what is this thing and, um, what should I do with it?" Their sullen, Americanized teens aren't much help either. Ah well, maybe next year. Until then I guess I'll stick with the bland. My mother always says that I'd "think a mashed potato sandwich was too spicy."

We stopped to buy some water (to wash down all the kettle corn) and a woman standing next to the counter looked down at my daughter and started chatting with her. "Look at those beautiful curls," she said. "Oh, and those eyes!" She looked up at me and told me that I would be in big trouble in a few years, which is something I've already started to suspect. I elbowed A and reminded her to say thank you to the nice lady.

It's funny . . . I always hold my breath and wait to see if the admirer of my child will look at me and then say something about how she doesn't look like me. But, they never do. My youngest sister has red, curly hair and when she was little, people would always look at our mom and say, "Well now, where did the red hair come from?" Mom always appreciated having strangers implying that her child was illegitimate. The other memory I have is that people would come up to our family (of three daughters) and say, "Aren't you going to try for a boy?" My mom would jokingly say something like, "No, because the last kid took my uterus with her on the way out," (which was pretty much true -it was a bad scene when the redheaded troublemaker was born). Maybe people are just more polite in the Midwest than on the East coast, where I grew up. My daughter has beautiful blue-grey eyes, gloriously curly hair, and tan skin (year-round) that I overtly covet. She may not look like me, but someday she'll be glad that she didn't have to spend a lifetime saddled with the gooey mess that is my DNA.

In any case, I have never been mistaken for her nanny or anything like that, so that's a plus. Maybe it is the way I run after her, shouting, "Not so close to the road! Put your dress down! Your shoes are on the wrong feet!" in a way that only a mother can.

What you don't see is the strange man sitting to the left of her, drinking a forty out of a paper bag. We moved.

She was trying to tell me that she's a "Growly Gus" (from Wow Wow Wubbzy), but she kept laughing.


Susie said…
I just wanna kiss those cheeks of hers! Such a cutie. Bye bye summer--let the fun of fall begin!

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