We arrived just before 7 when the market opened, and clumsily set up our table. My eager helpers were none too eager, though they didn't complain. It was a slow morning. No one stopped by to grab a pastry, a loaf of bread, or a jar of jam for over two hours. The rain steadily pelted the metal roof, making the 74 degrees feel much cooler than they were. My helpers retreated to the car for a little more shut-eye.
I chatted with a few other vendors, praising God for the much needed rain, them nodding in agreement. Rain is good for growing, but not for selling outdoors, even when there is a roof covering the tables. People trickled in like the rain, slowly, cool. Not much conversation was taking place as most were in a hurry to get what they needed and head back to their warm, dry homes.
I sat down to pick up a novel. There's not much time for reading these days with the gardening, canning, baking, and selling. And then I saw him.
I looked up from my page to see a small boy standing in front of my table. I stood. He wore a Scooby-Doo
t-shirt, black shorts, and sandals.
He wasn't a full head taller than the table, but he looked intently at what I was offering. He wasn't with a parent, and I didn't speak to him, but offered a warm smile. I wasn't sure if he was lost, or wanting a treat. I waited. He stood, about a foot away, and pushed to the very tip of his toes, surveying the cake plates, and the breads.
"I have money," he boasted, rocking back to rest on his heels.
"You do? Are you going to buy yourself something good here at the Farmers' Market?"
"Maybe." He pushed forward to his tip-toes again.
He carefully pointed to a half- dozen dinner rolls. "These are three dollars?"
Little as he was, he knew his numbers and how to read price tags, which made him all the more endearing to me.
"And, these are two dollars," he asked, pointing to the cake plate that held Chocolate Zucchini Spice Muffins.
"No. They are actually two muffins for one dollar." I smiled.
"COOL!" and he started digging into his pocket producing three dollar bills. He carefully unfolded them, and handed me one.
I tried not to laugh too hard, but the older woman beside me wasn't so successful, and let out a big belly laugh.
I handed him his muffins, and he ran down the aisle to meet his mom.
Sometimes slow mornings are the best kind. The kind of mornings when mothers can watch their children from afar, and little boys learn how to make choices on their own. It was a morning I won't soon forget.