Monday, April 26, 2010

See with your eyes, not with your hands...

WRONG! But how many times have you heard a parent say this to a child while shopping or at someone's house or in a museum, etc...

We love to go the City Wide Garage Sale every month. All of our favorite antique and junk vendors and friends come in from everywhere to peddle their wares in a big auditorium. Evan and I have been going for years so it's only natural that we continue with this Saturday morning tradition of paying a bit extra to get in beforehand for "Early Shoppers" time. We've been taking the twins since they were in their Baby Bjorns. All of the vendors know them and love to catch up on their news.

Usually we divide and conquer - Evan will take one and I'll take the other. Creed is a rascal and usually gets out of there with a bunch of free vintage cars or balls of string or even a plastic little horse or something. Yesterday was no different, yet as he scampered around and was feeling like he owned the place, I found the dreaded words leaving my mouth. "Credence, we see with our eyes, not with our hands!" Ouch. Wrong. So, I stopped and explained about other's possessions, that we were shopping and that we had to ask before touching. How can I condemn one child's curiosity when his sister uses her hands to see?

When Zelda and I hit the aisles, it's a bit different. First, we'll go and see Deborah and Harrell, they're have vintage guitars and cowboy boots, and racks of rayon slips and old crinolines. Zelda will bury her body in them and walk away with a hanger (one of her favorite items to play with). We'll stop by and see the piles of ropas usadas from Ahab Bowen. With each different table of old linens, scarves, t-shirts, even old furs, Zelda will touch each piece and hold it to her cheek, asking, "Mom, what's this?" Our lesson in textiles will unfold. We'll see Miss Linda Parker, whose booth is artfully arranged with shabby hues of off-white linens, lace, books and curiosities. She loves Zelda's hugs and tries to always find old Braille books for her. Miss Linda introduces her to friends and Zelda hugs each of them. Sandy Schor sells tables of collectible jewelry, strings of beads and chain and underneath the tables - heaven! Zelda sorts through plastic containers of buttons; all the time seeing with her hands.

We stop at one table and a there sits a school autograph book from the late 1880's. Zelda: "I want to touch it." "Mommy, I want to read it." I carefully explain how fragile it was and we turn the pages together, with each page, her tiny fingers search for Braille.

Our final stop is Sarah Lawson, her trays of beads and jewelry findings are the perfect height for la petite Z to rearrange round glass orbs and small metal clasps. Sarah doesn't seem to mind that Zelda has confused her system and says that it will give her something to do for the rest of the afternoon. When I tell Zelda that it's time to go, she tells me that she's staying with Sarah.

The City Wide Garage Sale, like so many places in Austin, is another aspect of our playground. And with each different place or outing, a discussion ensues...we can see with our hands, all of us can...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Gail,
I love this post! Where I don't think I ever said 'we see with our eyes not our hands'. I have been know to say 'this is a look no touch place' YIKES - not sure which is worse!!
My Caitie and I talked about your beloved Z the other day! really! For some reason Caitie has been 'practicing' walking with her eyes closed, she is actaully really good at it, and always has this whimsical little smile on her face when she is doing it. I told her we had a friend who is a twin and her age who cannot see. Caitie asked 'can we go play with her?' Four year olds have to be the most delightful creatures on the earth! most of the time!
caitie & georgia