Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

I’d never seen one like it. Petite and golden-haired and fluffy, the blue service dog vest seemed incongruous on his little back. As I brought the stroller even with his elderly mistress, I complimented his good looks. We chatted about him, and her disability, and then she remarked that I must be a fan of small people as well as dogs, nodding toward the stroller.

And then I was crying.

I suppose I could blame the full moon, or the first Santa sighting of the season, or the upcoming holidays and all the big historical feelings they dredge up combined with my sentimentality about the first Christmas my son is likely to remember. But I think what really happened was much simpler: I met a soul sister at the mall.

She talked to me about feeling my feelings to get to the reasons behind them instead of pushing them away, and encouraged me to take deep breaths. She spoke of emotional sensitivity as a gift to be shared with the world, which only made me cry more. She looked as deeply into my eyes as any dear friend would. When she reached for my hand, we naturally fell into a hug. It felt like being held by family. She thanked me for saying hello, and I thanked her for her words.

And then I went into Eddie Bauer to return a pair of pants.

All of this would be weird if it didn’t feel so right. I don’t routinely go around weeping in front of complete strangers, but this woman didn’t feel like a stranger. She felt like a gift plunked down in front of me. I’m just glad I had the good sense to open it. And glad I had the good sense to compliment her dog.

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In a seize-the-good-weather moment, we (my mom and I) took the Boo to a pumpkin patch for the first time. That’s right, I did not take him last year — don’t know if that makes me a lame mom or just wise with how I spend my energy, but there it is.

At first, he wandered hesitantly around the outside of the main pumpkin shed. My mom introduced him to the giant inflated scarecrow, which he liked very much. Eventually, we got him inside to look at the approximately 8,000,000 pumpkins, but he was far more interested in pointing out that the doors, propped with cement-filled buckets, needed to be closed.

I plunked him on a bale of straw and got a few really nice photos during the few minutes he was enjoying the novelty of being up there. He patted a few pumpkins and took a liking to one that was off to the side on its own next to a planter he decided was a trash can. My mom fetched a little red wagon, and Boo leaned against his pumpkin, a tiny man of leisure in a festive rolling Barcalounger.

But what he really went apeshit over was the ducks. Between the shed and the actual patch (which we did not ever get to because DUCKS!) they had a few large pens with the aforementioned ducks, chickens, bunnies, a turkey and a pig. He stood watching them, making the happiest noises I’ve ever heard come out of him. I didn’t even take pictures (one of my main motivations for the trip) because I was having such a good time watching the joy pour over his face. Also, I didn’t want to be the parent whose kid gets his finger gnawed by a farm animal while she’s busy taking photos.

The ducks were the epicenter of the rest of the visit. He would run around and put rocks in trash cans (a favorite pastime), but he kept wanting to circle back to those ducks. And his attentiveness was rewarded when a lady came by on a four-wheeler and threw a few heads of lettuce in the pen, causing a really cute feeding frenzy.

The first time we stated talking about going home, he looked up and sweetly asked, “ducks?” and we said sure, let’s go see the ducks again. The second time, he started crying a bit while semi-whining, “ducks!” We were able to placate him with (semi-true) promises of seeing Daddy at home and pointing out that his pumpkin was in the car. Most of the way home, he patted it happily and babbled about his “pop.”

The next day, I decorated it with a Sharpie (I plan to bake it):

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I'm over 50. I'm raising a fifth grader. Sometimes he posts too.


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