So we all have those expected-to-be-important days in life, or what I call the "Announcement days". Those are the days like births, marriages, parties, etc. where you send out either an announcement or an invite. One way or another the card industry is getting some money for those days. There's also generally a camera some where capturing the event for posterity. We all live for the Announcement Days and our photo albums (physical or virtual) are filled with them.
Then there's a day like yesterday. It began as just an ordinary Sunday. We did plan to get pumpkins and while that's a tradition, it's definitely not Announcement worthy. And then, it all changed. It all started at Sunday School, one of the Pastors asked if the children were interested in participating in the Christmas Pageant. I found this slightly odd, but I guess when you have 4 children, the powers that be want to know either you're in or you're out. Four children in a Christmas Pageant in a small-ish Rural church can really change the make up. I confirmed 75% participation, Mr. Cool (the ninth grader) wants no part of a Christmas Pageant. The Pastor noted she wanted to speak to me later and off she went.
It was our turn (4th & 5th graders) to lead the group Sunday School Worship so we told the story of The Wall of Jericho and made it fall. Hat tip to the King for the brick template and the red paint. Boo was on cloud nine. We had only 2 students show up so he was everything except the narrator. He loved blowing the tin foil covered cardboard trumpet.
After Sunday School, the Pastor found us again and asked if Boo wanted to be the Lead in the Christmas Pageant. And thus commences his acting career. This is the most wonderful thing for him. He loves to be the center of attention. He's also the third boy in the family. He's not really into athletics and couldn't compete with his older brother anyway. The role of bookworm son is already being played by his oldest brother. But this -- be star of the show, oh yeah he's so got this. And he walked on sunshine the rest of the day. (literally singing the song -- let's hope there's no singing required)
With Church done we moved on to the pumpkin patch. The kids love the pumpkin patch. The boys try to pick the biggest pumpkins they can. The Black Family rule is: You can get the biggest pumpkin you can carry out of the patch and to the car. Mr. Cool always pushes the envelope. The princess picks out every pumpkin in the patch as hers before settling (usually) on the first one she spotted. And all six of us cut up and laugh throughout the patch. The kids try to guess how much the biggest pumpkin weighs, and every year ask "Hey Dad could we get the big one this year?" The big one is usually 8 feet in diameter. The answer is always no.
Back at home, the princess had been requesting to decorate the house for Halloween all week. "We don't really do that, sweetie" was not a deterrent. So yesterday afternoon we went out to buy Halloween decorations. Again Mr. Cool declined, he and the King stayed home. The three that came had very different visions of a yard/house for halloween. Dino-man wanted spooky and scary. The Princess wanted goofy scary. The Boo man wanted something in between. We settled for spider webs, a furry spider, a goofy ghost and a few other things. The hit for the Princess is a sparkly purple cat. The real cat, however is not a fan.
All done with the shopping we commenced pumpkin cleaning and carving. Nobody likes cleaning out their pumpkin.
I don't get why they can make seedless watermelons and still have stringy pumpkins. But I digress.
Once the pumpkins were cleaned, the King, pumpkin carver extraordinaire carves whatever their hearts desire. We have a Princess, a Boo, a so goofy it's cool and a dinosaur lined up on our front porch. Oh yeah and mine is "O" -- perhaps I yell too much.
It's really not about the finished product even though they are super cool jack-o-lanterns, it's really about the 4 or 5 hours that we joke and laugh in the kitchen. It's about having a few precious hours to reconnect with the boys. I am reminded all too often of the countdown that has begun. Dino man has one more Halloween Pumpkin carving before college. One more. Sheesh. How the heck did this happen?