City, State, Home
One of the best parts of summer is the constant parade of farmer’s markets in our area. If I put a little effort into it, I bet I could go to at least one a day (and two on most days). Unfortunately, just because food is fresh and local and organic and free-range doesn’t make it calorie-free. Which is totally, totally unfair. If I’m going to make an effort to eat natural, real food the payoff should be automatically fitting into my jeans. Why doesn’t science work like that?
The kids love the farmer’s market(s), although I’m sure that has more to do with the fact that the majority of the vendors we visit sell things like kettle corn and maple cotton candy. (Getting any ideas why my jeans don’t fit?) Plus our favorite – the Bozrah one on Friday nights – is like an automatic playdate. We always run into people we know, the vendors are all super nice, and there are tons of free samples. There’s a whole corner of cheese merchants, which might be Caroline’s idea of heaven. Who knew my 2 year old would go nuts for a fresh chevre with herbs de provence? Last week there was a barrel train pulled by ponies. PONY. TRAIN. It was almost too much, and I don’t mean for the kids. I might have actually squeed over the ponies.
There are a lot of disadvantages to living in a state we don’t technically have any connection to. We are not from here. We don’t have any family here. We’re transplants and no matter how many of my children are born here or how long I live here I will never actually think of myself as being “from Connecticut”. I don’t feel the same deep obsession and connection to this place that I did when I first set foot in Charleston during a college visit. But after 8 years in New England and 7 in this town, I do love it.
We live in Connecticut. It’s the only home my children know. It’s become a huge part of our daily family affirmations: “I’m Evan and you’re Mommy and sister is Caroline and we live in Norwich!” They can both tell me exactly how far down the road to school the town ends and are always asking if we’re back in Norwich yet any time we drive more than a few blocks.
I think home is a confusing thing when you’re little – you know your house is home, but what’s outside that? Your yard? Your street? Your town? Your county? I tried to explain America to Evan yesterday because he wanted to know why there were so many Captain America flags. (He called the American flag the “Captain America flag”, because obviously identifying superheros correctly is a more important skill to teach your children than real facts). I told him we lived in a town, in a state, in a country called America and sometimes people live in other towns in other states in other countries. He was fine with states, but didn’t like the idea of something bigger. I told him his Aunt Carolyn used to live in France, which is a country across the ocean. He said “I would be sad if I live in France.” I told him he didn’t have to move to France and could stay with me forever and I really truly meant it.
Although I’m sure if he knew he could have baguettes for dinner every day in France he’d get over it.