Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Perfect Weekend

We were supposed to go to Houston to visit family this weekend. I hate to say, "I'm glad our nephew got sick," but I kind of am. Does that make me a bad person? Instead of twice making a 3 1/2 hour drive with a toddler, and spending the night in the guest room of someone else's house with a toddler who's testing the limits of his sleep routine, we got to spend an entire weekend together, the three of us. I didn't have to work! While money is nice, time together is, too.

Yesterday, I got to sleep in while Aerie got up with Thumper. Today, I returned the favor. When she got up, I said, "So what do you want to do with the boy today?" She said, "What about the flea market?"

We haven't been to the flea market in years. We always had fun there, wandering around, looking at the huge array of stunningly ugly home decor available in the many booths. It's kind of like a giant garage sale, kind of like a farmers' market, and kind of like a day trip to Mexico. I mean, sure, it was nothing to compare with the Married Geeks' adventures in China, but I think it's good now and again to be reminded what it's like to be the racial minority. It was doubly fun seeing the whole spectacle through fresh eyes, through the eyes of a kid who'd never experienced it before. He was all wide eyes and giant grins from the minute we arrived. Every cheap plastic toy was a treasure that he "needed!" Every stranger was a potential friend. Every electronics display blasting at top volume that weird accordion-heavy-but-somehow-not-polka Mexican music that I'll never understand was an opportunity to dance, dance, dance!

And then, he saw the treasure that he really did need. It was a big kid bike. A two-wheeler with training wheels and coaster brakes. At first we told him what we told him about every treasure he needed: let's look at everything and then we'll pick the thing he wanted most. We told him not to touch. But he couldn't stop himself, and the vendor was quick to jump up and tell us he could try it if he wanted. So he did, and that was that. We bought it. The vendor cleaned and oiled it while we went to find some lunch.

He was reluctant to leave it behind, but we told him the man was going to fix it for him. I was very proud of Aerie: she ate food from a portable kitchen, a trailer with a window in the side, with questionable hygiene. While we stood in line, Thumper pointed at the amazing mulleted perm (or permed mullet?) ahead of us and said, "Look at the long hair! I haven't seen him before!" Then we sat in the sun and ate our gorditas and watched the families strolling by and all the other treasures that the other kids picked. Then we had funnel cake, another joyful new experience for the boy, then picked up the bike and rode it proudly through the flea market on our way out. The vendor told us that we should bring it back when the boy outgrows it; he's sold it three times already.

As we paraded slowly past the booths on our way back to the car, the smile on Thumper's face was the topper for the weekend.

He was so proud. And so happy. And I was so proud. And so happy.

He fell asleep almost immediately on the drive home, but when he got up, he got the opportunity to show it off around the neighborhood. I wonder how old he'll be when the training wheels come off? This kid, he's a pissah, as we use to say when we were Yankees.

1 comment:

She Said said...

We used to call those traveling kitchens the "roach coach". Ha!

Thanks for the shout out! We have a little somethin'-somethin' over at our site for you. :)

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