This is an open letter to my children that I wrote after our trip the Pumpkin Patch on Saturday.
Seriously? Are you really both being big jerks? All because I had the audacity to bring you to the Pumpkin Patch today? Last weekend, I told you it was October 1st. That meant our favorite pumpkin patch was open, The Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch, which we have visited almost every year for the last 10 years.
Sophia, last year when you told me you did not want to go, I was fine. I just took your brother by myself and we had fun without you and your dad. This year, YOU said you wanted to go. In fact, YOU said we should take the entire family because it was a family tradition and you like celebrating family traditions. So we put it on the calendar for Saturday morning. I thought it would be best to go before it got too hot and crowded (and I was right).
Stop Touching Your Brother
I should have known the trip was doomed as soon as we got in the car and you started fighting with your brother. Mornings are not the best time to be around your dad anyways, so fighting while he was driving was not a good choice. He had to tell you at least three times to stop touching each other. Did I mention that he also hates the pumpkin patch but decided to come because it was making me happy?!
Instead of letting your fighting and bad attitudes ruin my “we are going to the pumpkin patch” happiness, I made several attempts to cheer everyone up. I rallied at least three times during the 15 minute drive. I suggested a “do-over”, a compliment train or to just cheer up!. I failed miserably. Your dad threatened to turn to the car around and go home. Seriously, how hard is it to stop touching each other in the car?
Mom’s Favorite Fall Tradition
Once we pulled up to the pumpkin patch, my heart began to soar at the sight of big, fat pumpkins lined up in neat rows on the front lawn of the old farmhouse. I was happy to see that the parking lot was not crowded, especially since we arrived about an hour later than I had planned. The hay ride was just ending and I watched sweet little families climb out of the trailer, brushing hay off their clothes. The sweet smell of kettle corn was in the air and cornstalks, scarecrows, bales of hay and gourds decorated the front entrance.
Excited, I started talking about the photos I wanted to take, in the same spots we have taken pictures for years. The big ruler that shows how tall you’ve grown, the wooden ghosts with cutouts for your faces, and the hay bales at the entry surrounded by the biggest pumpkins they could find. We quickly found a parking spot in the front row and I turned around to see that NO ONE in the car was excited to be there except me. In fact, dad was yelling at both of you because you were already being jerks and complaining about the thought of taking PICTURES.
Just Look at the Camera
My heart sunk because I knew that no matter how hard I tried to convince you all to have a good time, our trip was not going to be like our trips in the past. You are getting to old to be excited about the decorations and play areas like when you were little kids. Neither of you wanted to do the hay maze or jump in the bounce houses. I abandoned the idea of suggesting the hay ride because your dad was already complaining about the heat.
So we walked into the little orange house made of pumpkins and you each picked one out to bring home. Next we walked out into the big field of pumpkins, trying to find the biggest one. Then I took out my camera…
All I wanted was to take a few pictures.
But both of you had to be jerks and either run away from the camera or refuse to look at me. At one point, I walked away because I was so mad/dissappointed/upset. Tallen felt bad and followed me, then gave me hugs and held my hand. That is when it hit me.
Sophia, you might like family traditions but you are too old to enjoy the pumpkin patch. As we walked through all the characters, I realized that you don’t watch any of these shows anymore like Strawberry Shortcake, Scooby Doo, and the Backyardigans. Hiding my tears behind my sunglasses, I just pointed out all of the new characters this year like Teen Titans, Zootopia, and The Emoji Movie. Seriously, there is a poop emoji wooden character at the pumpkin patch now!
I bought Tallen a snow cone, which is another tradition, and we sat in the shade at the picnic tables while he ate it. Daddy sternly gave you a lecture about why your behavior was selfish and hurtful. He was trying to help me out, saying that all I wanted was pictures of our family to capture my favorite family tradition! I think everyone was feeling bad for me at this point because you all started to be less jerks. But I was not pushing for pictures anymore, I have given up. Instead we visited the goats, pigs, little piglets and the tortoise in the side yard. Then Dad managed to take a few pity pictures for me.
Finally, we picked out our pumpkins to take home. Maybe it was because we were getting ready to leave or because we love picking out mini pumpkins, but we all cheered up a little. When we got in the car, I announced that this would be our last year going to the pumpkin patch as a family. Our tradition is over. I was the only one who cared about this family tradition anyway, so I am not going to force you to go again.
Tallen is the only one who said he may want to go back next year. Which is fine. I will take him if he asks. Or I will go by myself and reminisce about all the memories this sweet little pumpkin patch holds for me.
Letting your kids grow up is hard.
But they can also be jerks. Is it really that hard to just smile for the camera?