My kids have been bugging the hell out of me to get a pumpkin since they first saw them on display at the grocery store back in early September (because apparently, we have to wheel out all the decorative crap at least one to three months BEFORE an actual holiday anymore). So, this past weekend, I promised them that we’d make a trip over to the pumpkin patch to get their long-awaited pumpkins. And, like most things these days, it didn’t end up to be the fun-filled adventure that I’d envisioned.
The “pumpkin patch” is actually just the front lawn of a local church here in town. All of the profits go towards different charities. In fact, the sign in front of it says, “Our pumpkins help people.” This idea totally appealed to me because I wouldn’t actually feel like I was throwing money away when I look out the front door in a few days and see a possy of squirrels going to town on our jack-o-lanterns. My pumpkins may be mutilated, but I helped people, dammit!
So, the search was on for the perfect pumpkins. My daughter wanted a tall, skinny one, and my son wanted a big, round one. They must have inspected every friggin’ pumpkin there trying to find exactly what they were looking for. Pumpkins were rolling here, pumpkins were rolling there, and I thought for sure that I was gonna end up having to pay for a bunch of damaged goods. Eventually, the kiddos found two that met their standards, as well as two other smaller ones that they somehow talked me into buying. (Yes, I am a sucker.) I tracked down a wagon, and we loaded it with our findings.
It was at this time that I realized that our car was parked clear around the corner, and I was gonna have to juggle four pumpkins and two kids across oncoming traffic. Now, I may be one of the world’s greatest multi-taskers, but ain’t no way that scenario was gonna play out successfully. So, I asked the man at the checkout table if I could leave my pumpkins there while I moved the car around. He agreed, and I dragged the kids back to the car. In the short amount of time it took to move the car, the kids must’ve asked me damn near seventy-five times if they could hold their little pumpkins on the way home.
I pulled up to the curb, and the very nice checkout man helped me load the car. As I was thanking him, I decided to ask about the charities that benefit from their sales, and he gave me a handout with about ten different organizations that they serve. He was right in the middle of telling me all about his favorite charity when my extremely impatient children decided to roll down the car windows and yell my name OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER again. I didn’t want to interrupt the guy when he was so passionately describing this beneficiary, so I nonchalantly tried to wave my hand behind my back to shush them. This only seemed to add fuel to their fire, and the cries grew even louder. I was so embarrassed that I actually had to stop him and tell my kids to pipe down. I was absolutely furious on the inside, but I tried like hell not to let it show on the outside. I slapped a fake smile on my face and pretended to listen as he continued. When the kids turned their volume up to full-blast, he finally took this as his cue to thank me and walk away. I held my breath and counted to fifty before I got back in the car to let my kids have it.
They started in with their demands to hold their pumpkins, but I quickly squashed that idea altogether. I explained how incredibly rude they were being and gave a whole glorious speech about the importance of giving to others in need. Although I’m quite sure it all went in one ear and out the other, I at least said my peace, and we drove home with the pumpkins in the very back of the car all by their lonesomes. And just like that, my idea for a warm and fuzzy fall adventure was smashed like a pumpkin.