One of my strongest childhood memories was walking to a neighbor's house every October to pick out our pumpkins. These neighbors had a pumpkin farm and would bring cut pumpkins out into their yard and sell them. It felt like we took hours trying to choose the perfect pumpkin and carried them around until our hands were scratched raw from the stems. Right by the cash box, the neighbors had little "impulse buy" gourds with googly eyes hot-glued on for instant personality. Well, I always brought my quarters to buy one, and each year in November, there was inevitably a teary day when I had to bid my moldy gourd friend goodbye, while my brother taunted me for becoming emotionally attached to a vegetable.
See above, my son with his very own pumpkin friend. He picked out the stickers for the face at a fall festival a couple weeks ago, but I swear I didn't push him at all to form an attachment to it. We set it proudly outside on the porch, but the Nugget insisted that "Pumpkin go inside now." Well, no harm in that, I thought. We displayed him on a shelf instead. But pretty soon, the Nugget wanted the pumpkin to watch him eat breakfast, to play trains with him, and the next thing I know, he is giving the darn thing hugs and pretending to feed it breakfast each morning. He pulls it onto our laps when we read bedtime stories. I have stopped short of allowing him to sleep with it, although he would if I let him. It's a doomed friendship, which will end badly with poor rotting pumpkin in the compost bin. But for now, it warms my heart.
Isn't it a strange and wonderful thing that although we adoptees don't share blood, bone, or DNA with our parents that we still take after them in some ways? He will always have his Poppy's dimples, his Tummy Mummy's eyes, and their shared talent for music and dance - I am proud to be able to tell him that. And now I am in awe that I get to be a part of his psyche as well - what an immense privilege and responsibility that is. Too bad you don't get to pick what part of yourself your kids inherit though. I better start writing a eulogy for that pumpkin.