Saturday, October 24, 2009
My 6 year old son recently participated in a pumpkin-seed-counting activity in kindergarten. He brought the seeds home and proceeded to plant them in various places throughout the yard. He kept saying, "I sure hope my pumpkins grow by Halloween!" I tried to tell him that they wouldn't grow in time; I talked about seed planting and harvest; about the need for warm soil and sun and water. I read him a story called "It's Pumpkin Time!" to really drive the point home. But he was just so convinced that his seeds were going to be different. He's been checking his seeds daily, hoping to have a jack-o-lantern by Halloween.
My son had a sleepover at a friend's house last night. So this morning when I went to the Grower's Market, I bought a few small gourd-like pumpkins, a couple small pumpkins, as well as a couple medium-to-large sized pumpkins. I came home (he was still at the sleepover) and placed the pumpkins on the spots in the yard where he planted his seeds.
And then we waited. My girls stood by the door for about 20 minutes, camera in hand, to try and capture his reaction when he came through the back gate, into the "pumpkin patch". (Unfortunately, they did not get the shot as he turned his back to the camera when he surveyed the pumpkin-filled yard.)
He was so cute. He was shouting, "My pumpkins!!!! They grew!!! I just knew they would! I KNEW it!!!" He then did a happy dance outside in the rain and then "picked" the largest pumpkin and brought it inside for carving. He's been so pleased with himself and his pumpkins.
I'll admit, I had mixed feelings about doing this. One thing I value above all else is telling the truth. And this is clearly NOT the truth. I had planned to tell him right away that it was a hoax. But then when he was SO excited, I decided that I should wait to tell him the truth until after Halloween. And now I'm thinking that maybe I should wait to tell him until he's 10. Or maybe I'll tell him when he learns about life cycles in science class (like when he's in high school) and suddenly he remembers the Pumpkins and questions me about it.
See, this is why you should not lie because it just makes everything so darn complicated.
And then I talked to my sister today and told her the Pumpkin Story. She thought it was cute and that I was a good mom to do it. But THEN she tells me about Tori Spelling's book and how Tori HATES her mother and how one time, when Tori was a kid, she wanted to gather seashells on the beach. But there were no seashells. So her mom bought seashells and scattered them on the beach so Tori could find and collect them. And of course Tori says that her mother is the most manipulative mother in the world and how she (the mother) just had to try and control everything about Tori's life, right down to the seashells.
So I'm hoping this whole pumpkin thing won't send my son into therapy in a few years.