At 39 years old (yes I’m 7 months away from the big 4-0) I carved my first pumpkin. I immediately knew I wanted to share my thoughts on this. Why? Surprisingly, it was a very emotional experience. It never crossed my mind that carving a pumpkin would bring up feelings about my childhood so here we go.
First of all, the carving pumpkin world is real. Folks go all out and there’s some serious artist out there. Me? Not to so much. I did what most moms do, I took to Pinterest to find a design. The pumpkin was for Zoë to bring to school for Papas & Pumpkins day. Obviously, I had to go with a theme she would be into and I wanted it to be special. Hello Kitty it is.
I found a design, printed the sketch and then went straight to my local mom group via Facebook because I had questions. Ah yes, I’m a Gen Y mom enjoying the ways of the millennials (I have thoughts on this for another day). See I had no clue on carving a pumpkin or better yet what to do with it once I was done. Do I leave it out on the step? Will the squirrels steal it? You know, all these questions that needed answers so the tot wouldn’t be the only kid without a pumpkin at school.
So about my emotional thoughts (that was the point right?)… My baby was going to enjoy a daddy and me date at school over a pumpkin. I could see them now. There would surely be a battle of sorts but my Z will be talking about the fun she had with daddy for a long time. And that’s exactly what’s happened. There was a battle. Zoë is still talking about her day with dad. And while I was prepping the pumpkin, I felt happy and a little sad because I didn’t experience this as a kid. I doubt I would have ever carved a pumpkin as a kid. First, my Jamaican mom and grandma would have been all “we eat it, we don’t carve it and dash it wheh”. Second, I’m a girl “from” Brooklyn. We didn’t carve pumpkins. I asked all my friends and cousins. We didn’t carve pumpkins. LOL.
But it’s “funny” how many first experiences I’m having with my children that make me think about growing up without my dad. I don’t dwell on it too long but the feelings come at the most unexpected time. It’s more than just the pumpkin. Growing up without my dad means I don’t have any daddy and me dates to reflect on. No special moments with my dad to share with my kids. My dad was in town a few weeks ago so I made sure to snap a few pics of him with the kids. Another moment I had to explain to Zoë. You know the fact that she actually has two grandpas. She very familiar with grumpa (as she calls her paternal granddad) but has only seen my dad on 3 or 4 occasions so I have to remind her. Now she has a few pictures with him and that makes me happy.
Anyway, that’s it. I prepped my first carved pumpkin and I’m happy my kid got to enjoy Papas & Pumpkins with her dad. Now let me grab some of these pumpkins that are now on sale because “we eat dem, we nuh carve and dash dem wheh”. LOL