Pumpkin Pa-ssage

“Our task is to say a holy yes to the real things of our life.” –Natalie Goldberg
On Saturday we took a family excursion to Cestari Farms for the Pumpkin Festival so AJH could see her first pumpkin patch. I forced Ben to go to the more “commercial” pumpkin patch with hay rides and ponies and sheep and hand-knit superfine merino wool sweaters (hint, hint). He would’ve been happy with the traditional kind, you know, with just a big patch of pumpkins, but I insisted AJH get to experience the whole sha-bang.
When we got there we quickly realized she is barely seven months old and didn’t quite get what was going on…too young for pony rides or walking through the pumpkin patch, we started to feel a little awkward and out of place. Here we were, with our little girl all dressed up in her matching momma outfit and motorcycle boots…now what do we do? Do we go on the hay ride, or will she get scared? Do we truck the massive jogging stroller through the little shop (the one with the superfine merino sweaters) or will it get stuck? Do we walk the pumpkin patch instead of taking the ride, or will we get too tired and lost?
Ben looked at me like, “Why are we here again?”
I replied in complete seriousness, “Honey, we are completing the ‘Pumpkin Patch’ Rite of Passage.”
He looked back like, “What in the h#@$ is that?”
I told him all the other families did it (my answer for a lot of things). Facebook was full of adorable pictures of little kids and their moms and dads walking gleefully through the patch, posing in front of the perfect pumpkin, enjoying hot cider and hay rides.
I told him that was what I had envisioned….and it wasn’t happening.
So as we stood and debated on whether to pay $6 to take AJH on the hayride to the patch, I got decisive and remembered the chapter from Life is a Verb where Patti taught me to just SAY YES!
So we hopped on the old, rickety trailer for the hay ride, leaving heavy stroller behind, and just as we sat our butts on the hay, holding AJH for dear life, my camera died.
But it was okay.
“This is why I splurged for the 5 megapixel camera phone!” I exclaimed to Ben.
In the end, she was a bit befuddled by the pumpkins, and we spent $12 on one we could’ve got at Wal-mart for $3.88, but that didn’t matter.
What mattered was that we spent the day as a family.
We bonded over our awkwardness.
We showed AJH beautiful things.
We laughed at each other.
We took pictures that will make us look back and say, 
“That was when Annalee was only knee-high to a pumpkin.”
 We had another momma matching day.

 And best of all…

we said YES.

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