This is my post for Parent to Parent of Georgia’s blog, but had to jump the gun and share.
“Excuse me ma’am, have you ever read one of our periodicals before?” the lady asked me as she’s handing me an Awake tract.
I was thinking, “Really?! I’m being evangelized to by a Jehovah Witness while I’m decorating a pumpkin on my tailgate at dawn in a Kroger parking lot. How surreal.”
What I said was, “No thanks.” As she walks away, I throw in, “Good for you for approaching a stranger with your faith first thing in the morning.” She looked puzzled and walked faster away from me.
How did I get to this place in time? Well, it had to do with Pumpkin Walks and pitching eggs off a roof. Read on to get the details.
My daughter’s school participates in the local city’s Pumpkin Walk every year. Each student is asked to decorate a pumpkin for placement in the walk. In the past, they’ve won cash prizes for sheer quantity of produce that lines the walk.
This year, I had forgotten about the walk. The morning the pumpkins are due, I was explaining this to my daughter as we were walking toward the special ed bus.
“I’m sorry, we forgot to make a pumpkin for today.”
Desperately exasperated, “But Moomm! We HAVE TO HAVE a pumpkin!”
Flashback to first grade.
The highlight of science in first grade was getting to insulate an egg and watch the Principal toss it off the roof of the school to see if it survives. We didn’t participate (send in an egg), and boy I heard about it. Notes from school claimed she cried for hours after the event. More boo hooing when she got home from school. I scarred my child over a cracked egg.
Back to the present.
The conversation fifteen feet away from the bus.
“So Mommy will make you a pumpkin?”
“What do you want on your pumpkin? How should I decorate it?”
Because of her interest in diseases and syndromes, I said, “Shall I put spots on your pumpkin, like chicken pox?”
“No Mom, I don’t want diseased pumpkin.”
“OK, I’ll decorate it and make sure you know it’s yours.” At this point, she’s on the bus and I had no idea how I was going to decorate it.
It was now 7AM, and I had one hour before pumpkin deadline to purchase, decorate, and deliver a pumpkin she would recognize as hers. That was not diseased. Good thing I love these kinds of challenges.
7:05 Scoured house for supplies – sharpie marker, tape, hat? Wait, no time to heat up glue gun, so I couldn’t attach a hat. No hat. Considered affixing various past art projects like a tag. Found artwork – a picture of a Mario Kart. Perfect.
7:10 Rain was in the forecast. Laminated Mario Kart graphic onto a bamboo skewer to stake into the pumpkin. Got dressed and drove to Kroger.
7:14 While I drove, decided to decorate the pumpkin as Mario, the character from Nintendo games to go with the Kart.
7:20 Arrived at Kroger. Produce section has NO pumpkins.
I found and interrogated the produce manager. “Are you out of pumpkins?”
“No, they are all outside.” He led me outside, having to unlock the front doors that blocked us from the quickest way to the pumpkins.
There were several giant bins of pumpkins. We looked in the closest bin. Large, sad looking pumpkins. 5 of them. We continue to the next bin. 7 to 10 medium pumpkins lining the bottom of the crate. I did not want to have to climb in just to get a pumpkin. Next bin, many more medium sized pumpkins within arm’s reach. The produce manager plucked the closest one out of the bin. It’s lopsided and has a stretch mark. “Ok, I’ll take it.”
7:25 Ran inside the store with the pumpkin, self scanned, swiped card for $4.28, and ran back out the door to the back of my station wagon, where supplies were ready.
7:30 Drew Mario’s mustache (poorly), eyes (better), smile (crooked), and hair (ok). Stuck in skewer with Mario Kart graphic. Admired work.
7:35 Chat with Jehovah Witness.
7:37 Headed for school.
7:49 Delivered pumpkin to patch. Challenge completed with 11 minutes to spare!
Whew! What a parent goes through to help a child avoid disappointment.
I asked my daughter the next morning what she thought about her pumpkin.
Her reply, “Huh? What pumpkin?”