Every year, since my oldest was a toddler, we’ve gone to the pumpkin patch.
I have pictures of him to prove it. Not all the pictures, mind you. That would just be excessive, but here are a few to showcase my dedication to tradition:
However, times have changed.
Yesterday, I was met with mad resistance. He refused to go. He even turned on the water works, begging me to not force him into taking a car ride to the dreaded place. I assume he enlisted his little brother for back up, because on cue the little guy started to also cry and scream in agony. They were like a misguided orchestra. Two against one.
My husband was Switzerland, neutral on all fronts.
I had to make the difficult decision to cancel our wonderful trip to the pumpkin patch. Gone were my chances to make more memories with both my boys. Photo ops disappeared like time through my hands. I was incredibly bummed out, but I also knew dragging them for hours would be torture to all of us, and I had to just suck it up and deal with it.
Husband had a brilliant plan, an alternative to salve my emotional wounds. The money we would have spent on the patch (a gajillion dollars when you factored in entrance fees, food and anything else you decided to purchase) could be spent on other things. He knew just what to say to entice me. One word, and one word alone could fill me with joy and almost make me forget that my boys were creating mutiny against me:
We stopped at a grocery store on the way, and the boys picked out pumpkins. I cringed. This wasn’t at all my idea of pumpkin hunting. We were supposed to go on a haystack ride! We were supposed to go through patches until we picked the very best ones! We were supposed to all hold hands and sing “Kumbaya!” and….
Oh, I know.
Ridiculous, aren’t I?
We paid for our pumpkins and headed for the sushi bar; I let go of my perfect family outing with each savory bite into salmon, or fatty tuna. The ante was upped while experimenting with a few different sushi rolls, and my oldest was right there with me, delighting in it as well. Little guy was actually pretty behaved, and he tried to use his chopsticks to poke at his teriyaki chicken and rice. I glanced over at the table next to us, and the grown ups were smiling and watching our sweet little family eating together, and I realized how lucky I was to be there, to have them with me, and it really wasn’t about the place, but about the people you were with. These moments (especially out for sushi) are few and far between, and I just need to cherish that, and make those my memories.
Sometimes doing something not planned is the best plan of all.