Tuesday, October 25, 2011

golden pumpkins

We spent the weekend in Boise with two of our grand-children, ages 1 and almost 3 (oh--and their parents!). Children know how to live abundantly. I have missed Gabe moving to Arizona; when he lived with us, he was a daily reminder of that full-life approach to living. Now, when I make David's sandwich in the morning, I miss Gabe's comment on my swirl of mustard, "It's a G!" I miss his excitement for the little things in life. This weekend reminded me of how children's approach to life can help me live more abundantly.

We are just going into the house. Bailey hugs our legs and announces: "My birthday is in one month!" Of all the first things to say, that was hers. I wish I were so excited about my upcoming birthday. I want to feel excited about the adventure of being another number--and not just older.

At dinner, Bailey and Ryker had a game they'd play. He'd watch her. She'd watch him. Then she'd let out a belly laugh--not because something was funny, just to laugh. And Ryker would laugh, hard. His was genuine. He was delighted with his sister and her laugh. I need to laugh more. And laugh hard. Sometimes just for the sake of laughing. (I just remembered this: David had heard that laughter lowers blood pressure. Once on the way to a physical, he made himself laugh over and over again. Finally he started laughing for real, thinking about what other drivers must think of this guy, alone in a car next to them at the stop light, guffawing away. His blood pressure was lower!)

Bailey wanted to show us how she could ride her bike but didn't want to put on her helmet, so she had to ride in the garage (family rule). Both cars were in the garage, so essentially she was just riding around and around one of the cars--and doing a pretty good job of it. She never hit either car once. She kept shouting, "Watch me, Grandma." Once I hid behind the fender of the car so that as she rode around, I would surprise her. She loved the surprise--and then we had to play the same game over and over, with me "hiding" at different corners of the car. Sometimes she even told me where to "hide." Each time, she seemed surprised that I was there. I need to take more joy in the repetitive aspects of life. There are so many after all. I shouldn't get so well-now-that-isn't-a-surprise-is-it about life. Keeping it fun is important.

We visited a pumpkin patch on Saturday. The place was more like an old-fashioned amusement park than farm, although there was that, too. There were tractors pulling barrels-made-into-seats around the grounds. There were animals to feed ("It tickles my hand!) and bales of hay to climb. Ryker wanted to carry every pumpkin he saw. Bailey had to swing on the swing (everything seemed to be made out of farm implements of some kind). When her turn came, she kept repeating, "This is so fun. This is so fun." The swing just went in a circle, but Bailey sat very still, her eyes looking out the side to her left, both hands gripping the chains. It was as though she was focused on the moment, on soaking in all the sensations of swinging out and around, instead of all the whirling visuals going past. She focused. I'm afraid that too often, I don't. I have so many things to do and so many places to be and so many people to do things for that I don't just focus and enjoy  small moments for the joy they could be.

We took a hay ride (big wagon hooked to a tractor--fun!) out to the pumpkin fields. Ryker would have taken any pumpkin he could get his hands on, but Bailey wanted a "golden" pumpkin. So we stayed on the ride while others got off, and families who'd found their perfect pumpkins got on. We waited past the fields with the BIG pumpkins.  At the last stop, we saw the fields with little pumpkins. We jumped down to look for golden pumpkins. I was skeptical. Yes, I'd read the sign about all the varieties of pumpkins and the varied colors, but here? We wandered around, and, sure enough, there were two small golden pumpkins. Just the right size for little hands.  Even when they might not seem possible, a dream is important. I need to think of golden pumpkins more.


  1. These paragraphs were like beads forming a necklace. Simple. Beautiful. Golden.

  2. Keep this post ever posted. Print it and repost it on your refrigerator. Make bold the "I must remembers". Such a precious slice!

  3. Quite wonderful those grandchildren! I loved that you took those moments and put them quite properly into your life. I believe too that you should put this out, frame it, or maybe illustrate it for your grandchildren to see later what their grandmother wrote about them. It will be important to them for their whole lives.

  4. Fruitful seeds of joy here.

  5. I have to tell you that when I submitted my last comment the funny word I had to type in (what are they called?) was "mentos" - what came to mind was the explosions mentos create in soda pop! Wasn't that a great image to go with your post!!