Which do you think is more fun for a child-convenience or creativity? Many of us are busy; in fact it has become somewhat of a badge of honor.
“How are you?” you ask a friend.
“I am SO BUSY…..”, she answers and she is off to the races listing all the things occupying and preoccupying her time. She is so busy; she doesn’t even stop to ask how you are. “Oh, I’ve got to go!”
How are we left feeling?
Now imagine you’re a kid. The choice is to pick a plastic pumpkin off the shelf, while also shopping for groceries, or other home essentials. The child goes home and puts it on the front step. Done. Decorated for Halloween.
What if that child were offered a different choice? Maybe grow their own pumpkin or pick one from a farmer’s field? Maybe after school or in lieu of television one night, the family gathers around the kitchen table and the child is encouraged to delve into their imagination to come up with a face or design to carve into their pumpkin. The table is covered with newspapers and the pumpkin is placed on top. A circle is carved around the stem and a lid is formed. The lid is lifted and the child gazes into the unknown with curiosity.
“Go ahead, pull those seeds out and put them in a pile on the newspaper,” the child is told.
The child looks up, just to be sure she heard correctly. Slowly she puts her hand in, and then quickly pulls it out. “Ewe, it’s gooey!”
She sees a smile and watches as your hand goes in and grabs the first fistful of slimy seeds caught in a web of fibrous strands. The child peaks again inside, leans closer this time, reaches in with both hands and pulls out a clump of the pumpkins guts proudly.
“We are going to separate the seeds and bake them in the oven. Would you like to flavor them with cinnamon and sugar?” You ask.
Her heads nods yes as she reaches in for the next handful. The stove is lit; the pumpkin seeds are spread across a greased cookie sheet, seasoned, and slid into the warmth to bake into crunchy snacks.
The child decides she is going to make her pumpkin smile, have round eyes and a triangle nose. She outlines the face on the bright orange skin and you cut the irregular shapes out. A flashlight or small candle is placed inside and the pumpkins roof is replaced. The lights are turned out. The happy glow illuminates the child’s own smile. A warmth wells up inside you. Instantly, you reach for your phone to capture this precious moment and share it with all your friends.
This Halloween, which option will we offer children? Still not buying it, you don’t want to or don’t have time to carve a pumpkin? Fear not, my next Unplastic Halloween post is for you! For those who will be carving pumpkins, however, please share your creations by tagging me @thenaturenurse on social media. I will be sharing ideas on my platforms too.