Maggie at the market
Our friend Rachel has a booth each week at our wonderful local farmer’s market. When she had a baby this spring, many of us pitched in to cover her booth so she could have a relaxing babymoon without those weekly stints selling soap and lotion. We’ve continued to lend a hand so that she can enjoy that oh-so-brief time with her new little one, usually for about three hours on a Saturday here or there. We were signed up to work today, but as it turned out, Rachel already had enough coverage. But when I suggested to Maggie that we wait until another week when our help was more needed, she said that she really wanted to go. So we did.
Maggie loves the market. For one thing, there are lots of dogs to meet. Plus, we often see friends at this weekly community gathering. Our tiny little market of 5 years ago has evolved into a central event around here. When we arrived at around 10:00, the place was absolutely mobbed–a far cry from the small crowds that used to happen in the old parking lot that housed the market. So we worked our way through the people and dogs, saying hello and dodging produce bags as we walked to Rachel’s booth.
Of course, “working the soap stand” is the highlight of the trip. We found our nametags–Maggie has her own, which makes her feel very grown up, I think. She had a great time working the crowd, helping customers find sample soaps and make product selections.
And especially exciting was taking money and making change!
There were also fun opportunities for her to feel independent in this safe space, like taking some money and seeking out a snack for herself. Her pottery teacher is a couple of booths down, and she enlisted Maggie to help her with some shopping, gifting her with a special ceramic button. It’s such a joy to see Maggie feeling so confident and at ease, finding her way around this small corner of the big world.
For me, this is one more reminder of the importance of giving the kids a chance to do real work, not just make-work. At the market, Maggie can tell that she is making a contribution, being useful and helpful–and that feels good! Not to mention all the learning she’s doing. I’m so thankful to Rachel and her partner Paul (who manned the booth today), who generously welcome Maggie into their place of business with confidence and love. Aren’t we lucky!