Katie suggested that we should create a family pumpkin for Halloween. Now that Elliott has reached an age where he understand enough of the world to get excited about many people, places, things and holidays, we can start to establish traditions, those little personal touches we’ll put on certain events to build anticipation for the next time that particular season rolls around again.
As fun as the whole tradition building process sounds, it also comes with a lot of pressure, especially the first celebration, the foundation that all future festivities will be built on. In short, it was pretty important to get this project right the first time to assure that Elliott would joyfully participate in all future renditions of operation pumpkin.
My strategy was to allow Elliott to own as much of the process as possible. We headed off to Walmart without a clear picture in mind for our project, but when we arrived and headed for the craft section, Elliott had a look of confidence that indicated he may have more of a plan in mind than I did.
After being held up briefly in the electronics section where Elliott and I failed miserably in trying to convince Katie that many families incorporate 52 inch plasma televisions into their Halloween traditions, we reached the art supplies and began to study our options. Elliott immediately pointed at two bottles of paint. Sticking to my plan to let this be his project, I grabbed both bottles of paint. I took the liberty of eliminating any possibility this would turn into a finger painting project and snagged a couple of paint brushes.
When we got our supplies safely home, we laid out some newspaper to protect the house from whatever direction this project was about to take. Boys under two years old turned loose with paint make any efforts less than wrapping the entire house and all of its belongings in thick plastic a risky proposition. Once all safeguards were in place, the fun began.
When I realized that Elliott wanted to coat the entire pumpkin in blue paint, Notre Dame Blue, my enthusiasm for the project reached new levels. We worked together to turn our large orange melon into a bold blue tribute to the real reason for a fall celebration, our beloved Fighting Irish. The pictures will help you get a feel for our efforts and a chance to enjoy our final product.
Elliott has been asking since the project was completed to “paint the pumpkin again?” Oh, that kind of excitement is the guarantee I had hoped for, one that brings assurance that we have established a meaningful tradition and one that will help Elliott always understand the wonder of the fall festival we call Halloween, or as he likes to call it, “football players.”
As a disappointing side note, I had hoped the pumpkin would serve as a good luck piece, one capable of lifting the Irish to victory over UNC yesterday, a hope that was dashed when the Irish lost a hard fought battle, a defeat that limited the life of this pumpkin to Halloween day and not the entirety of the Irish season.