However for my crew, it’s a tradition that involves a great group of our friends, so this year I was torn between just skipping pumpkins or making new memories. Even though I worried that missing our friends would ruin the trip, I choose to not let fear and sadness keep us trapped at home.
It was the first holiday tradition success in our new life!We honored the old tradition and put a spin on it that works for our new situation. The new pumpkin patch was so different than our usual one, so it was easy to marvel over the fun and newness rather than feeling reminded at every turn of missing our friends and the usual pumpkin patch.
We got to experience our first corn maze. That was certainly a great adventure! Michael’s favorite activity was a slingshot that sent fruit, corn and gourds out into the pasture for the cows and goats to eat. Plus we played in a corn silo, raced rubber duckys, went on a hayride, and more. We already can’t wait to visit again next fall!
The success of this trip was much needed, both for me and the kids.
For the kids, sometimes missing Daddy is so overwhelming that they can’t stand to have fun. But this day all was forgotten for a few hours and they were carefree children.
And for me, there were two great and needed reminders…
First, that I can handle this crew alone when necessary and have awesome adventures with just the 7 of us.
But mostly, the relief that alone isn’t something I have to do day in and day out. When I’m parenting alone, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed, to expect too much of them, to let my hurt spill over so that I’m impatient and short, to ruin an outing due to exhaustion and the weight of being the only adult 24/7. Rather than outings alone being the norm, ‘just the 7 of us’ is only one way we have fun together.
Parenting alone is hard and lonely. It’s meant to be done as a team, with your best friend alongside.
It’s so easy to dwell on all that I have lost, but the truth is I have also gained. I could be doing this alone, drowning with the weight of the physical needs of raising 6 kids and keeping a home. More maid than Momma. Missing out on the most important part- actually knowing these 6 as individuals and experiencing life with them. But instead of alone, I have a team of three adults.
You know that song, Sometimes He Calms the Storm? That’s where I am. He’s not calming the storm- there’s no changing the hard fact that I am a single Momma and my children will grow up without a father at home.
But, oh, how He calms His child. Calmness rooted the certainty of my own parents stepping into the gap for me and for my children.
We really, truly are so very blessed. We are broken and we are blessed. How thankful I am that both can coexist. And one day, I think, we won’t feel so very broken.
Whew, that got a bit heavy. But it is the nature of life right now. Easy next to hard, good beside bad, fun with sadness.
So, lets bring it back to the pumpkin patch which wouldn’t be complete without pumpkin portraits. Dirty faces, messy hair, and all. The evidence of an awesome day together “just the 7 of us.”