The Biggest Pumpkin

I had a memory return to me the other day. Well, actually, my son had reminded me. It was his first day of school. We talked about how different the times are now, as opposed to when I was in school. “I used to walk,” I said, “from Kindergarten!” “Yes, he said, as he rolled his eyes, as if he was so tired of hearing the story. “You carried that big pumpkin home and you were crying!” I’m the one that had to be reminded, because I laughed at the memory.

“Oh that’s right! I was so greedy! I had to have the biggest one! And I was probably the smallest kid in the class, as I was only 4 years old. I was young for my class.Geesh, can you even imagine, walking home from school at 4 years old? The thought of it makes me freak right now! I crossed at least one street that I know of. I know, it probably was three blocks away, but 49 years ago, it seems like 20 blocks away! It’s all relative. And besides, I’m telling my kids the story, so you know we all, exaggerate. It must be done, to scare the crap out of them, or it’s just not an effective tool for discipline. We don’t have a lot left anymore. Lord knows we can’t lift a hand, thanks to all the liberals. Back in the day, I remember my mom slapping me in front of my friends, and I would be so embarrassed, I wouldn’t dare open my mouth. Now she’d be arrested. She broke a hairbrush on me a couple of times. She’d probably be on death row by now and I’d be visiting her somewhere in northern Wisconsin. Although, if you listened to her tales living under my roof, she probably would have fared better.

Anyway, I digress. I had thought about that story, as I had seen my son coming home from school the other day. He was wearing an oversized hat, which I thought looked a little goofy myself. He started bragging to me that he now had 8 pairs of shoes. “What?!” I was furious. I left to go to work and now he has all of these shoes. He told me they were used and handed down to him by a relative.  As if that made it better. My whole point to him, and his father, was that I did not want him to be over-indulgent. Couldn’t these shoes be given to a child who didn’t have any? A few pairs could have been more than enough.

This pumpkin taught me a lesson when I was young. More is not better. I was a little tiny girl and went to that pumpkin patch with no common sense. I saw all those pumpkin and was filled with pumpkin lust. I had to have that giant pumpkin. That’s right. The Lord tells us that, “Rebellion is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod will drive it far from them.” Well, the rod, was not in that pumpkin patch, so I grabbed that pumpkin, hoisted it up, and all of us boarded the bus, back to our school.

When it was time to walk home, I never gave a care tohow many blocks I would  have to shlep that heavy orb home. My arms began to ache. I felt them burning and the tears welling up in my eyes.  Cars whizzed past me, and I didn’t care how beautiful this pumpkin may have looked nor what face I may carve into it.I just wanted to smash it into the ground. It became an object of contempt to me. Yes, I looked at this thing, which had previously seemed so utterly beautiful and now I wavered, between love and destruction. I felt a monster inside of me.

 I would stop and rest and cry some more. Those blocks seemed like miles to me that day. Oh, how I longed for one of those tiny little gourds. I would have gladly traded if only one of my classmates would have passed me on the street. Nope, I had to carry my own weight.

I learned a valuable lesson at 4 years old. But I’ve learned it over and over again. I watched adults do the same thing. They feed their greed and they cannot satisfy it. They have to have the biggest pumpkin. They have to have, their name in lights, recognition. There is always a cost involved.

I see the spirit of this world trying to influence my children to buy into this belief and I keep trying to fight against this, with the hopes that they will learn the lesson that I have learned. Less, is better. Give, and it shall be given to you. The blessing is always in the giving. And you can never satisfy this desire for greed, it will always master you.

Your arms will ache from try to carry that huge pumpkin. Lay it down.

The Little Pumpkin