Farm Story has been interrupted by the pretty-early new Baby Story.
The week had been progressing along as usual: carrots Monday, potato washing and sorting Tuesday, miscellaneous and market Wednesday, day off Thursday and market prep Friday.
Come Friday night when normally I would have been sound asleep dreaming about selling potatoes, I was surprisingly party to rapidly progressing and active labour.
Itís not like we didnít know it was going to come, and some plans had been hatched to accommodate that distant reality, but they themselves were still in their infancy. Mom and I had agreed that sister Jennie would write this column for example, which would have been really fun. We may still do that ó stay tuned.
I had convinced myself (but no one else) that the baby would come during the week between markets and most likely the week after the end of city markets, much later in October. By Friday afternoon (Sept. 21), all theorizing was over and the weekend plans changed a bit. Veronika took the market helm with mom, dad and my cousin, who moonlights as a partner in a huge law firm when not doing till at farmers markets.
Of course we are all wondering how things went at market arenít we? I have been trying to get all the stories out of them all but I think there is a lot I am not being told. Mom said that Veronika pretty much had to tell them when to blow their noses at the Saturday market, but by Sunday they were back in the swing of it.
That may well be the case, but when I called down Sunday morning ó baby tucked under my chin and phone tucked under my ear, they had misplaced the till boxes with the market due to open in a few minutes. The money. I think it might have been bad timing on my part.
Meanwhile back at the farm, sister Jennie was most definitely not writing a replacement column for me: she was getting the place ready to host Cops for Cancer on Sunday night. It is no mean feat to transform the farm from production to presentation but she pulled it off with a mighty solo effort, right down to the fairy lights in the rafters of the barn.
So the bottom line is: we were not ready. No nursing bra for Niki, no Birth Plan, no clothes small enough for 7lbs 5oz. No back-up plan in place for markets or this column. No idea really, of what to do.
In the end, of course, it all came together ó helped in no small part by the prospect of some good story material. From a professional standpoint, mom and dad got to get a good look at our city markets ó they have changed a lot since they went regularly, and my cousin trained her daughter on till, whose hourly rate does not require quite such a heavy discount.
Baby Will, whose birth story involved a ride in an RCMP cruiser, four paramedics, two doctors, two nurses, the Pemberton Health Clinic and most importantly (high recommendation), two midwives, was appropriately introduced to the farm and family at the Cops for Caner event on Sunday night.
Afterwards, we enjoyed restorative Pemberton vodka cocktails and told all our stories.
Anna Helmer has written her first column with Willem (Will) H. Vankerk snuggled up awkwardly under her chin. The H is for Helmer.