Tis “the witching time of night”, / Orbed is the moon and bright, / And the stars they glisten, glisten, / Seeming with bright eyes to listen ~John Keats
Happy Halloween or technically All Hallows’ Eve!
Did you know the root word of Halloween is ”hallow,” meaning ”holy?” The suffix “een” is an abbreviation of “evening.” Halloween refers to the Eve of All Hallows, the night before All Saints’ Day, the Catholic Holy day that honors saints of the past and a time to pray for those in purgatory. Note, anyone can pray for anyone, living or deceased at any time.
Just for a reference, All Saints’ Day is November 1st, followed by All Souls’ day on November 2nd.
It’s always this time of year, when I see the pumpkin patches full of kids and Jack-O-Lanterns light up doorsteps and windows that I can’t help but chuckling. Why? Kyle of course.
When Kyle was a little tyke, and into the recent few years before he gave up on the trick-or-treating tradition, pumpkin carving was always an issue. Really? You bet!
Kyle loved searching the pumpkin patches for the perfect pumpkin. He loved selecting the largest pumpkin imaginable, even when he couldn’t pick it up. Kyle truly loved the idea of Halloween and the activities that went with the holiday, event pumpkin carving. However, Kyle never liked the actual carving of a pumpkin, not in the slightest. Don’t believe me or think I’m exaggerating? Not even close.
Halloween activities were never the same since the first time Kyle tried carving his pumpkin. The moments leading up to this point where exciting and eventful. It was all good and dandy until Kyle actually put his hand in the pumpkin. As standard protocol dictates, I cut the top off of our pumpkins, Kyle wanted me to have a pumpkin too, and I showed him how to pull the guts out. Kyle looked down into the center of his pumpkin, sniffed it, and hesitantly reached in. What happened next took me by surprise and honestly baffled me a bit.
Kyle proclaimed he didn’t like the feeling of the guts on his hand and he wouldn’t continue. Instead, he looked toward me to do his dirty work for him, literally. At first, I thought he was being silly, but he was serious.
After my shock wore off, I tried to work with Kyle and his pumpkin gut issue. I gave him a long handled metal serving spoon to scrap the guts. I thought this would get him past the beginning stages of the pumpkin carving activity and move him toward the actual carving fun. Something I thought Kyle would enjoy. Wrong.
Eventually, after I gutted my pumpkin, Kyle abandoned his and took ownership of my project. He had a good time carving, but certainly not complete excitement like I was expecting.
Every year since, Kyle remembered that faithful day, and reiterated his disgust for pumpkin guts. It really left an impression on him. Kyle would prompt our pumpkin patch activity by telling me I had to gut his pumpkin. Seriously! Yes. While walking through the pumpkin patch and making his selection, which always had to be bigger than mine, Kyle would state I was gutting his pumpkin for him.
Trying to get creative, I even had Kyle wear gloves one year, which worked out fine until his bare arms hit the side of the inner pumpkin wall and that ended that. I should also add, Kyle never liked long sleeves, or cloths for that matter.
I even tried bribing him, yet he would not budge.
Another tradition is taking the seeds and roasting them with a little salt. Kyle would not even entertain the idea of sorting through the pumpkin guts to retrieve the seeds. He did eat the roasted pumpkin seeds, but that was about it.
Eventually, we would purchase pumpkins and Kyle would draw faces on them, and watch me carve my pumpkin. Although, that didn’t really keep his interest for too long. But I will say, Kyle loved watching the lit pumpkins sit on the porch banister at night. Standing outside at night, staring upon the flicker light in the shape of a face would creep him out, but he loved it That is, as long as someone stood with him.
This time of year makes me laugh out loud, every time I think of Kyle carving a pumpkin, or more accurately passing the carving buck. Kyle was never shy about telling others about his pumpkin gut aversion. Too funny!
As for the rest of the commercially celebrated Halloween celebration, Kyle adored. The selecting a costume, getting dressed and receiving bag fulls of candy he could handle.
I say that, but there was a year that wasn’t exactly true. The year when Kyle was Jay Jay the Jet Plane. Would you believe Kyle wouldn’t put his costume on? Why? He thought he was going to take flight. Seriously? I’m not making this up.
My sister bought him that costume and it took a few attempts before he would put it on. The first few Halloween activities we did that year, I had to walk around holding Kyle’s hand on my one side, while I carried his costume in the other hand. That was one of those situations when I couldn’t stop laughing. Eventually, he did wear the colorful costume, but it took a while, and I think it was after Halloween pasted.
My little guy, he has his quarks, which makes life interesting and fun.