Ever since I was little, in the fall, my parents took my brother and I to pick out pumpkins for carving. It was a yearly Halloween ritual for our family. Like a lot of families, we each got to choose a pumpkin. There were rules to choosing our pumpkins. It had to be the right size for carving. Not too big and not too small. You wanted to pick out a pumpkin with a smooth face for carving, but tall enough for a face. Every year I dreamed of getting a giant, perfectly round monstrosity of a pumpkin. My dream pumpkin would have no flaws, be round and perfectly symmetrical, and the most beautiful shade of orange you have ever seen! Each year I longingly looked for my perfect dream pumpkin, while picking out a smaller version for carving. I kept my pumpkin dreams to myself. One day, once I had found my soul mate, had a daughter, or three, had a house with a porch for a big 'ol pumpkin, I would have my dream pumpkin!
I grew up. I then picked out more medium-ish pumpkins for my annual single girls Halloween party, year after year. I still secretly longed for my great big, fat pumpkin, even though I subconsciously relegated myself to never having my dream pumpkin. I admired them from afar, those big, fat, orange, round beauties that I secretly wished I was lucky enough to possess. One day I vowed, I would have my dream pumpkin! I kept telling myself that when I was married, settled down, and had a family...then I would have my dream pumpkin. Every year on the front porch of our home, our giant pumpkin would be proudly displayed. One day!
So I settled down, found my soul mate, got married, joined our families and the pumpkin hunting tradition was revived for Sissy the Eldest and Mr. T. We picked out pumpkins for carving every year, and I found myself reciting the same rule as my parents before me, 'Not too big, not too small!" My pumpkin dreams got pushed to the side once again, although this time in exchange for affordable family pumpkin memories. Big punkins' are 'spensive y'all!
When we had Lil Punkin Doo, again we picked out pumpkins for carving each year, and the same size restrictions were in place. Seeing the sheer joy on all of our kids faces, from a simple, fun, family activity like picking out their own pumpkins and carving them is priceless! Hearing them scream when pumpkin guts touch their little hands is also priceless by the way! Just in case you were wondering!
This past weekend, we took Lil Punkin Doo to Gritt's Fun Farm in WV for the day. They have slides, corn pits, tractor rides, corn maizes, photo ops, hay bale climbing, and a big glorious pick your own pumpkin patch. At the end of the day at Gritt's, it was time to pick our pumpkins. My LPD picked a tall long faced pumpkin, and just like that, I turned around and there it was. The pumpkin of my dreams. She was fat, the perfect shade of orange, the exact size and dimensions I had always dreamed of! She was perfectly symmetrical, and had a big, thick stalk on the top. Beautiful. I suggested her to LPD and she said no, that she wanted a tall pumpkin. So after we found her perfect vision of a pumpkin, I turned to Hubbie the Dearest and asked if I could have my dream pumpkin. He said yes! I told him it was my dream pumpkin, and he said yes!!! So while I was soaking in the fact that I was about to score my dream pumpkin, happy as the day HTD proposed, he advised me I had better hurry up and get it, because there was another family looking at the pumpkins right beside my pumpkin!
I left LPD with HTD, and practically ran back to my pumpkin. The little family was picking up the pumpkin beside mine. Pschew! I thought I had lost her! Before they had a chance to try and steal her from me, I bent over and grabbed ahold of her thick glorious stem, and lifted her. And thud. Back down to the ground she went. My baby is heavier than I had imagined. So I reached down, put a little back into it, and lifted her with both arms into our wagon. Wow. Funny how I never imagined my dream pumpkin ever weighing more than a normal sized pumpkin!
So HTD went to get the car, and I stood in line and pulled the wagon with LPD, and our two dream pumpkins to the wash and weigh station. I lugged my beauty onto the scale at the weigh station, and it turns out she weighed 31.7 pounds. LPD's weighed 17.2. 49 pounds o' punkin, plus my kid, plus the wagon. My forearms are going to be killing me tomorrow was all the negative I could think, in my pumpkin finding, elated state. I am now the proud owner of my perfect pumpkin. After lugging our 50 pounds of pumpkins around the pumpkin patch and into our car, I was exhausted. But I had my dream pumpkin.
We waited until the next day to clean out and carve our pumpkins. Lil Punkin Doo drew her face, and I carved it into her pumpkin. She then decided that she was going to draw the face for my pumpkin too. I was happy to let her draw the face for my dream pumpkin. I proudly drew it on and carved it out. It may look like a many eyed, stop sign nosed, scary toothed face or a tutorial in shapes, but I am so very proud to have my daughter(my creation) create the face for my dream pumpkin, that I am close to bursting with happiness. And it now sits proudly displayed on my front porch, right beside hers, just like I always dreamed. Totally worth the hours of carving and achy back, shoulders, and arms!
It is a good thing to hold onto your dreams, no matter how big or small, no matter how long it takes, because soul mates, families, daughters, dream pumpkins, and dreams really do come true!
Happy Halloween Snappers!