Sunday, October 19, 2008


Around this time of year we as parents like to dress up our kids in costumes that they end up hating and wanting to take off after only 10 minutes. We take them apple picking when they don't even really like apples, and in fact, would rather eat cake. We bring them along on adventurous trips to pumpkin patches. We take a bunch of goofy photos of them amidst fields of brilliant, orange globes, when it's obvious that they're not even sure what a pumpkin really is and that expression clearly shows on their faces. We assume they're going to have a great time. We think that they're going to love it. But really, they try to love it because we've told them they will. We've built up the Pumpkin Patch. We've sold it to them like it's Disney World. When, really, they're just miserable. They're crying. They're tired. They're hungry. They're dirty. We somehow know that by taking them for a ride on a Cow Train, a hay ride, a smelly trip to a petting zoo, and then to pick out a pumpkin (soon to be tossed in the trash, very haphazardly decorated and/or carved, in just a few short weeks) that we've crossed the inevitable, imminent melt-down threshold. We know ahead of time that we will probably end up leaving with someone...or two...or three of them crying. And yet we forge ahead. We plod along. We march forward and stubbornly do it anyway.

What do my children know or even care about harvest except what I've told them and built up for them? About apples? About...pumpkins? We buy all of our "harvested" produce from Ingles. Do they even give a rip?

At the end of days like these, this conversation can always be overheard taking place in the family van on the way home:

"Guys, did you have fun today?"


"Well, why not?"

"Because we didn't get to do..." (Fill in the blank with whatever ONE thing we did NOT let them do and that is the thing they will focus on for the rest of the evening).

"But didn't we have fun doing...?" (Fill in the blank with ALL the numerous things we DID do for them and with them throughout the day).

I think they really did have a good time. I did, even though there were moments when I found myself wandering through a corn maze, questioning my sanity. I sometimes think, though, that stuff like this is really more for the adults, and we get to use our kids as an excuse to act like goof balls. That's what we did this weekend. And we'll probably do it again next year. I guess it beats staying inside and watching television!

For more proof of our pumpkin fun click here. My sister-in-law, Kim, has some more great ones here.