sweet patch revisited

An early storm last weekend foiled our plan to head to the local pumpkin patch. Normally by this time of year, our porch already features our carefully carved and lit gourds, or at least some beautiful pumpkins.

We intended to go Sunday morning, before the crowds — our last chance before Halloween to share the experience as a family. A few friends from our adoption group even planned to cross the Bay and join us with their little ones. But after a three day torrential downpour showed no sign of relief, everyone bailed and even we decided that romping through the stormy mud did not exactly sound fun.

Yet as the week went on, I started to feel like I really did not want to miss the pumpkin patch this year.

As a kid I remember going to our local farm each year with my mom. While we didn’t pick them from fields as we do from our farm now — and there were no hayrides or corn mazes or jumping tents — we each picked a pumpkin from the farmhouse porch and took them home to paint (or carve when we got older).

After many years of wishing for a child of my own to enjoy Halloween, like many holidays the pumpkin patch came to signify much of what we might never share as a family.

Two years ago, M and I had just begun our wait to adopt and were feeling rather hopeful, when an afternoon at the pumpkin patch made me question whether we would ever become parents.

Last year, incredibly enough, we sat our beautiful cherubic five month old baby girl on top of a pumpkin and counted our blessings.

This year, I simply wanted to share the experience with our daughter, now nearly a year and a half. I wanted to romp through the field together. I wanted to watch her face light up when she caught a glimpse of a farm full of those amazing bright orange gourds. I wanted her to play in the hay and get close to the animals. I wanted to see if she would squeal with joy, or have some other reaction.

I want her to remember the ritual of picking out the perfect pumpkin.

The thought of not making it to the farm this year just was too upsetting. I couldn’t even articulate how it made me feel. I just knew we had to go, somehow. I was so determined that I was prepared to go in the rain this weekend regardless. (That’s the stubborn me.) Yet the only day we could all go together would be Halloween morning. But it would be wet and crowded, there could be slim pickings, and we had plans later in the day.

Friday on our way home from grocery shopping, I took the backroads past the farm and saw the pumpkin patch was open. But it was lunch time, then naptime, plus I had food in the trunk and no camera. Baby J ended up falling asleep in the car for 20 minutes, then refused to nap later at home. After about 45 minutes of coaxing, I gave up and looked outside. It was barely even sprinkling. So I grabbed the camera and we got back in the car. I was disappointed that M couldn’t be with us. But we simply had to go.

Unlike the weekend crowds, hardly anyone was there. When I put Baby J down in the middle of that field and said “let’s go find a pumpkin!” and “let’s run!” her face lit up and she started moving. She ran from pumpkin to pumpkin, trying to lift them, trying to eat them. She was so excited to dig in the dirt. She especially loved decorating the pumpkins with hay. She marveled at the tractor’s huge tires. We made animal sounds at the little piggies, baby cow, little lambs and sheep. I took her for a wheelbarrow ride and she signed for “more.” And we picked a lovely pumpkin.

It was chilly but not cold. The sky was gray yet the rain didn’t fall until our drive home.

I took some pictures and video and wished that M was with us to share the experience. But I was so grateful to be there at all. He would have to enjoy it vicariously.

After an hour of exploration, Baby J’s hands were covered and her shoes caked in mud. It took me half an hour to get the dirt out from under her fingernails.

But she was happy, nap be damned.

And so was I.

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~ by luna on October 29, 2010.

6 Responses to “sweet patch revisited”

  1. Awwww. She is ADORABLE! So glad you made it to the pumpkin patch!

  2. Ohhhh, I’m so glad you went and I love the picture. Sometimes I think about the possibility of living child free and I think yes, I could do it but then I think of stuff like this, the pumpkin patch, Christmas and Santa and the I can’t imagine ever not experiencing that.
    You give me hope. Thanks.

  3. That’s a beautiful tradition to carry on, isn’t it? Friends of mine took their two little girls for the hayride, etc. It’s not really my cup of tea, but I’m finding my world expand as I see things through my son’s eyes. She should have a pumpkin hat!!!!

  4. I totally understand, all these things we have waited to do with our kid/kids so glad you made it to the patch!
    I will click over to the article now to leave a comment.

  5. I well remember that post from two years ago. So glad this year’s memory will be different! : )

  6. Sometimes you just have to jump in and do it. Your pumpkin patch is my taking the kids to the river for Tashlich. It is sort of a taking back from IF. Something that has to be done each year. Not even for them — but for me.

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