Long before the days of perfect pumpkin patch family photos, and well before the Pumpkin Spice Latte became a cultural phenomenon, I was enchanted by the pumpkin patch. I remember going as a kid to pick out the perfect orange gourd, and then gathering around our old sun-room table to carve spooky designs with my parents and brother.
I think because I so fondly remember these times as a kid, I have carried-on these traditions into adulthood. Isn't this why traditions feel so good? They remind us of our childhood... when things were simple and a little more magical. Even before having kids, Jordan and I would make a yearly trip to the patch, and then have a pumpkin carving competition before Halloween. I always looked forward to our trip, and couldn't wait to share those same experiences with our future kiddos.
(Jordan and I at the pumpkin patch in 2014, pre kiddos)
Fast forward a handful of years and here we are! Two kids in, and ready to take on the pumpkin patch to make some memories. I envisioned us frolicking through rows of pumpkins -- the girls in their matching dresses; me showing Ava how to pick the perfect one and hoisting it into our wheelbarrow, careful not to spill that tasty cup of cider.
So did it go exactly like that? No... not exactly.
Okay... not at all.
Our toddler had different plans. Although she did happily walk through the rows of pumpkins, and absolutely LOVED the petting zoo... she still spent more of the trip resisting, than enjoying. By the time we got to the check-out line, Ava was BEYOND ready for a nap, both me and Jordan were ready to be home, and Alice... well Alice was just waking up from a nap in the wrap and was happy as a clam.
On the drive home, I found myself feeling so discouraged. I wanted SO badly for all of us to have this fun outing. I wanted to make memories during this family tradition that I hold so near and dear to my heart. I wanted it to look like that version I had planned in my head.
But if there is one thing becoming a mother has taught me, it's that things rarely go as planned, and almost *never* match up with the fairy tale version that exists inside our minds. But that's OKAY. Fairy tales aren't real.... but having the crying toddler on a hay bale? THAT'S what's real. And THOSE are the memories. The things we can look back on and laugh about years later. The excursions that DIDN'T go as planned, and the pictures that AREN'T so picture perfect. This is real life. Our perfectly, imperfect life.
So yes, I'm sharing our pretty pumpkin patch pictures, but I also want to share the not so pretty ones. Mainly to remind everyone that those pretty pictures you see on your screen only tell half the story........ and also so I have a record of Ava's bad behavior to tease her about and share with future prom dates later in life. Enjoy.