10.25.2012

the great grocery store pumpkin

Here in South Florida, we don't have authentic pumpkin patches or Christmas tree farms. We have fields where pumpkins and Christmas trees are brought from places where they actually grow, set up to make you believe you're really selecting your holiday decorations right from nature. I've always clung to the belief that these were real pumpkin patches and real Christmas tree fields, just because at least they hold some glimmer of hope and authenticity. Until we have a holiday where you pick oranges and string them with lights, it's the best we can do. I always said I would never, ever buy a pumpkin or Christmas tree from a grocery store because that doesn't feel even as real as a man-made lot. That is until today.

Ethan has been to a pumpkin patch at least five times this month. Each time I had another reason for putting off the purchase of a pumpkin: too soon, too heavy, no good options, wanted to include someone else in the process. Each time my back-up plan fell through the cracks and then it was six days until Halloween and we had no pumpkin to carve. Today my plans for a pumpkin patch stop were deterred by threats of a hurricane, closed schools, incessant rain and windspeeds too scary to listen about on the news let alone drive in. I realized that this year, we'd be in for a grocery store pumpkin. (And in typical Florida fashion, I'm staring out my window at a blue sky. Figures.)

I walked Ethan into the grocery store and lead him to the back near the produce department where the pumpkin display was. His face lit up. He squealed with delight. He ran, shrieking with joy, over to the pumpkins and hugged some, blew some kisses, petted some. He rearranged the miniature pumpkins and sniffed the cinnamon brooms on display to try to offer up some kind of authenticity as a relevant fragrance. He laughed until he had hiccups, running around the display feverishly, stopping only to admire a pumpkin.

I felt silly. I walked into the store fighting back feelings of disappointment and let-down in Ethan not being able to choose a pumpkin from a pumpkin patch and here was my sweet little boy, reveling in pure delight and excitement. He was having a blast.

It was one of those times where the innocence and joy of your toddler makes you realize how jaded adulthood has made you. One of those times where stubbornness and waiting until the rain cleared in hopes to go to an outdoor patch would have caused you to miss these moments: the laughter, the joy, the best morning you've had in some time.

He ended up giving a bear hug to a lopsided pumpkin that stands upright only with special care. It's stem is flaky and it's backside is dented. We did one more lap around the display. He came back to that same faulty pumpkin. I told him it was beautiful and a wonderful choice. He grabbed a bushel of bananas off of a nearby display and we went to go check out, his belly filled with ripe banana and my heart filled with love.

17 comments:

  1. Wait a hot minute here, our pumpkin patches aren't real?
    Are you going to tell me there's no Santa either?!

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    1. HAHAHAHAHA!

      If you go to Lake County around Christmastime, they have "Florida Christmas Trees" you can actually saw down. They're wimpy and pathetic and it takes some struggle to keep ornaments on the thin branches, but it's a hilarious experience. Something about seeing a bunch of Floridians in heavy sweaters and flip-flops maneuvering saws and lugging Christmas trees across a field. They also have a campfire to make s'mores, even though it's rarely cold enough for that to feel refreshing. I look forward to this each year, haha.

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  2. What a beautiful blog! Love the colors and layout :)
    New follower from Mommy Brain Mixer. Love for you to stop by and return the follow when you can :)

    www.thenaptimereview.com

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    1. Thank you, and thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Visiting from Mommy Brain Mixer!! I too live in Southern Florida...just on the gulf coast. It is hard to find other bloggers who live in our wonderful State. Your son is adorable...and I understand why you would need to do the grocery store pumpkin with Hurricane Sandy brewing around...ugh..
    Laurie @ pride in photos

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    1. It is totally hard to find other local bloggers! I agree! Why is that? Hmm. Opposite coasts and all, it's nice to find another local blogging friend!

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  4. YAY! For FL!! I know exactly what you mean about pumpkin patches, i so wish we had real ones, but i do love our state!!

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  5. This is hilarious. We live in the land where nothing grows easily except Christmas trees, but we still have an artificial one since we usually go out of town for Christmas.

    P.S. I love Ethan's shirt. I had been eyeing it for awhile, but alas, it sold out in Liam's size before I got around to buying it.

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    1. LOL! That's funny!

      Awww, man! That stinks. It was on sale for $3 and I thought it was the cutest thing! I'll be sad when it no longer fits. :(

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  6. He got to pick his perfect pumpkin so you can't ask for more!!

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  7. These photos are so cute! Funny how little kids have a fascination with pumpkins {or as with my daughter, anything that's round and looks like a ball...is, well...a ball}. We're taking her to the pumpkin patch for the first time this weekend and I know she's going to go crazy. Also hilarious how they try to pick them up!

    Thanks for stopping by and following--I'm your newest follower now too :)

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    1. Haha! It's totally hilarious when they try to pick them up! Kids are funny.

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  8. Your son is adorable!! My little Carter LOVES pumpkins as well and has a very similar reaction when we pass them in the store! I'm so glad we have pumpkin patches here, we've made it a tradition to go every year before Halloween. Glad you made the best of what you have to work with :) Your little guy loved it just the same!

    Whitney

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    1. So true -- he did love it just the same! Goes to show you it's as adults who are picky, not the little ones. <3

      Thank you!

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