Editor’s Message – November 2017
The Last Pumpkin?
Our intro into fall as a family has always been the carving of the pumpkins. Not being one of those “on the ball moms,” this annual event typically takes place about 30 minutes to sundown on October 31st on a blanket in our front yard. No fancy carving kits, just a butcher knife and a spoon. Our pumpkins are completely old school, triangle eyes and nose with a jagged block smile. Again, not on the ball and never over the top, just sliding in last minute…keep it simple stupid style.
Don’t get me wrong, I have good intentions, I cut pictures from various magazines and catalogs of great fall-inspired front porches and every year I vow (to myself) that this year will be the year I pull it all together all Martha Stewart-like. But every year, real life gets in the way of my fairy tale. The fall festival just sneaks up on me, kind of like college has with my first born…
However, this year, in an attempt to get a bit of an earlier jump on things, I posed the question during dinner on Monday night, October 30th, “Are we carving pumpkins this year? My eldest, with one foot out the door and already half way to Tallahassee (go Noles!), and my youngest too concerned about her upcoming 16th birthday and subsequent driving test that will take place shortly thereafter, screamed – “Of course!” I incorrectly predicted their response. See, I am thinking they have moved on. I am thinking they are too cool to carve pumpkins, dress up, or trick or treat. I could not have been more wrong.
It seems my girls are just as unwilling to close this chapter in their lives as I am. They are holding on and I love them even more for that!
The days, months, years of parenting babies, toddlers, and tweens and teens is coming to an end. And although for the most part, I am thrilled and proud of who my children have become, what they have accomplished, and what lies ahead, I am simply shocked at just how quickly we got here.
Although, apparently, I was there every step of the way, and was repeatedly warned by those who have come before me…those years flew by.
I remember the sleep deprivation, diaper duty, and sippy cups. I remember the journey from rolling over to crawling, to walking to running. I remember the first days of school, meeting teachers (all twenty two of them, some of the best people I know), I remember room mom duties and trying to come up with crafty crafts for 23 1st graders who were not listening to me. And I remember the field trips- Animal Kingdom, St. Augustine, and Medieval Times on non-luxurious packed buses with no noise restrictions and enthusiastic children thrilled to be out of the classroom.
What I don’t remember is the gentle nudge from the universe reminding me to hit the pause button on occasion as we were transitioning from one milestone to the next. Someone, seemingly overnight, took my little girls and has put grown women in their place. We have passed the point of no return. There is no going back it is all homecomings, graduations, and college send offs from here.
Good news? It’s not the last pumpkin. It’s not the last anything. They are still here, for now, and we still have things to accomplish together as a family before the sun sets on this phase and we happily and sentimentally move on to the next. It’s been a great ride. One that I will never forget and thankfully with very little to regret. And one, that for many years to come, I will remember fondly as I trade in the SUV for a sports car and hit the road less traveled.