SG came over last weekend to carve pumpkins with the kids and me. The six of us crowded around the table in my too-small kitchen and scooped out pumpkin guts and told stories and saved seeds for roasting. SG brought a video from a diving trip he took to the Galápagos Islands last year, and we all sat in the dark living room, crunching warm (and sorta spicy) pumpkin seeds and checking out the marine life that SG got to see up close. We're taking it slow, this whole hanging out with the kids thing, but they all needed to get their eyeballs on each other a couple of times at least.
That's the Jack Skellington pumpkin, all moldy and gicky after a few days of rain. I was cleaning up tonight and went to put all the pumpkins in the yard waste bin. Most of them were still in good enough shape to carry, (not bare handed, tho) but Soph's was the consistency of puke on the bottom, and I had to scrape it up with a shoe box lid and an Anthropologie catalog. Then it dripped all the way to the trash and I was barefoot and worried about getting slimed so I said a few preemptive swear words and then, then I stepped on something sharp that stuck into the part of my foot where your middle toe meets the rest of your foot. You know that spot? It's a little tender even when the rest of your foot is like, well, like shoe leather from walking outside barefoot all summer without sandals.
Nate was feeling down tonight about how hard it can be to get along with his siblings who so very clearly have no purpose on this planet beyond making him miserable. Finally I just told him that he needed to grab onto the happy moments of his days and use those to carry him through. It was dark where we were talking in the hallway, but I could see that he was looking at me skeptically. Listen, I said to him, right now I am honestly going through some of the most challenging times I've ever been through. The thing that keeps me going is that I've got so many happy things during the day to hang on to. He kept looking at me. I have times like the other night when we walked to the store for candy, and how much fun I had with you. I have times like yesterday when we cuddled up and talked on the couch. I have a million happy moments with you, so I don't have to let the hard stuff and the bad stuff be in charge of how I'm going to feel about my life.
He went to bed, because it was late. He didn't really say much. A few minutes later I was in the kitchen, throwing yet more dishes into the sink, and he appeared at my elbow. He wrapped his arms around my waist and put his head on my chest. Thanks, Mom, he said, and I let out my breath and ruffled his hair and kissed the top of his head and hoped and hoped that he's able to do this. To be content with all the brightness available to him, if only he'd remember to keep looking for it.