I love fall and it’s bright, brilliant colors. I especially love the traditions it brings beyond children going back to school.
For the second year, and hopefully years to continue, I took my youngest two children to the local pumpkin patch as part of a field trip for my preschooler.
As the day dawned upon us I fretted. The family taxi, our van, had started making a terrible noise when you turned the wheels, so I sweet talked my husband (yes, it is ok to sweet talk them on various occasions) to taking my van to the garage down the street to have it looked at before he went to work.
This left me with three kids and a car that doesn’t have enough room for a car seat and two boosters across the back. It was going to be a tough day, but I wasn’t going to disappoint my preschooler, who’d traipsed around the house for days singing “I’m going to the pumpkin patch, I’m going to the farm. I’m going to get a pumpkin, and it’s gonna be orange.”
As a mother, I find I’m am constantly finding solutions to unexpected situations. Just like being a writer and having to create situations with solutions already in mind, funny how that works. LOL. So, anyway, no problem. I’d put two seats in the car for the kids going to the pumpkin patch and we’d just walk my oldest to the bus stop before we left.
When we stepped out onto the front porch the roads were a glistening sheen of black and the rain dripped from the porch roof down our backs. The only umbrella we owned was in the van, besides one of the kid’s umbrella’s that was small and broken. We made it to the bus stop a few minutes before the bus arrived.
I prayed the entire drive to the nursery school that trip would be cancelled. Nope, they were going rain or shine. So in the rain, wipers flickering, kids in the back picking on each other, I drove to the pumpkin patch.
Before we got out of the car, I said to my preschooler, “If at any time your cold and wet and want to go home, just say the word and we’ll leave.”
Our options, due to the torrential downpour of rain were one of two things: we could get on the hay ride and go pick our pumpkins out in the patch, or we could go see the baby animals in the barn and grab a pre-picked pumpkin out of a bin before getting our snack and heading back home. I looked at my four year old and my two year old and choose the second of choices. My four year old (preschooler) had a different plan, however.
There are those moments when you ask yourself, “Who is the mother?” and there are those moments when you realize that even at four years old, one must discover things on their own. We went on the hay ride. As an adult, i knew i’d be wet, I knew I’d be cold, and I knew i had bundled up my kids in preparation for both.
We rode out to the patch. My two year old picked a nice sized pumpkin and I choose one about the same size to take home and let my school aged child carve. My four year old, who insisted he must pick his own pumpkin from the pumpkin patch held up his pumpkin for me to see.
As I stood there in the rain, I looked up at the sky for a brief moment before my gaze fell back upon the pumpkin in my preschooler’s hand. It was no bigger than my hand, but it, to my preschooler, was the perfect pumpkin in all the patch.
Back on the hay wagon my preschooler began to cry, “I’m cold. I want to go home.” I drew both children close and we road back to the barn. “My hands are cold.” I heard. “I’m so wet.” Little teeth began to chatter.
“Okay, let’s go home.”
In the car, I pulled sodden jackets off of children and blared the heat to warm their chilled bones. Little hands were red and cold. They shivered and quivered being buckled in their seats, and as I drove home, I wondered what the next year’s adventure to the pumpking patch would bring. Would it snow next year, since the year before had been cold and this year it had rained? Or would it be sunny and warm?
No matter, I decided, perfect pumpkin or not, the memory had already been made.