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The Pumpkin Carving Party

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If you – when Ella was three months old – had knocked on my front door, let yourself in, sat me down on the couch and told me that one day soon, the fun would outweigh the hard, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. If you’d said one day really, really soon it will seem like a whole lot less work and a whole lot more good, I promise — just hang in there, I might have nodded my head and smiled weakly. But I most probably would have been thinking, Sister, that’s all well and good but I DON’T THINK SO. And while you’re here, can you help me find my pants?

While I would never say I suffered post-natal depression, I’d be lying if I said I experienced the first year of Ella’s life with bounding joy and happiness. There were blissful moments, sure, but to me, it just seemed like a never-ending blur of sacrifice and self-doubt and fatigue and anger and boredom and shock. I didn’t have the foresight to indulge in the fantasy of treasure hunts and make-believe and first I-love-you’s and Halloween pumpkin carving parties. I just didn’t know.

 

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I do now.

I know what it’s like to stay up late, decorating the house with pumpkins and spider webs.

I know what it’s like to plan scavenger hunts and make costumes and bake teeny tiny cupcakes.

I know what it’s like to create a world of play and imagination for tiny people and I know how it feels to sit back and watch little eyes widen with excitement.

I know what it’s like to have that part of me come alive – that wonder-filled part where life is suspended for a few hours in the glorious world of pretend – the part of me which only children can ignite.

I know how it feels to watch the joy and hear the laughter and I know what it’s like to think, My kid. I’m filling her memory bank with all of this. 

 

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On Saturday, we had our first annual Halloween Pumpkin Carving party. And just for the record, Japanese pumpkins carve just as well as the special Jack-o-Lantern ones and they are a quarter of the price.

 

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_MG_0630Trying to get a witch’s hat to stay on a toddler is near impossible, so just pretend she’s wearing one.

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After everyone left, we stayed with our neighbours in the rubbish-strewn, pumpkin-scattered backyard eating pizza and planning our trick-or-treating night. I was heavy-eyed and exhausted, but as I looked around at the scene before me – happy kids, laughter and a golden setting sun – my heart was as full as I could ever imagine it to be as I thought, so this is what my friends meant when they sat me down on that couch all that time ago. These are the days. When the fun overrides the work. When I can lose myself in the magic of childhood. When I can thank my lucky stars she even landed her sweet little body into our outstretched arms.

 

 

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