carving a pumpkin // livelovesimple.com

carving a pumpkin // livelovesimple.com

carving a pumpkin // livelovesimple.com

carving a pumpkin // livelovesimple.com

carving a pumpkin // livelovesimple.com

carving a pumpkin // livelovesimple.com

carving a pumpkin // livelovesimple.com

carving a pumpkin // livelovesimple.com

carving a pumpkin // livelovesimple.com

carving a pumpkin // livelovesimple.com

It is November 1st, the morning after Halloween. There is a sadness in my heart now that my favorite time has passed. Yet, at the same time, the beautiful enormity of the memories that we made this year warm my heart to joy.

Now that Roman & Marina are each old enough to appreciate what the holiday means, the experience is so different. I no longer feel like I am just “surviving,” trying to keep my head above water while managing a baby and a boy. Instead, now, we move through the magic together. We make decisions together. We enjoy the beauty of the moments as they pass together.

Last night after I took off their costumes, got them washed up, and tucked them into bed, I crept down the stairs and switched the porch-light back on to invite any lingering trick-or-treaters to stop by. As I sat at the kitchen table, watching the glow of the porch-light against the dark, October night, this thought occurred to me: “I am so lucky to be their mother. I could think of no greater gift. If I never had another prayer answered for the rest of my life, being their mother would be enough.”

On the night before Halloween, we picked our roundest, most orange pumpkin from our make-shift patch to carve into a grinning jack-o-lantern. It occurred to me then that it would be my first time carving a pumpkin. Sure “we’ve” carved many pumpkins over the years, but I realized that “I” had never done the actual act of carving. Like many other things in my life, I had always left that job to whatever man was around–mainly my father or my children’s father.

I slid the knife into the pumpkin skin to make way for the little carving tools. I scooped out the cold, wet pumpkin flesh. My children sat and watched with glittering eyes as our pumpkin transformed, as my hands worked magic. I wonder if they will remember that moment, when their lives stretch out long and winding behind them. Will they remember the sweet, warm magic that grew there as we carved that pumpkin? I wonder if they will know how much I loved them.

This winter will mark three years since I’ve been doing this thing on my own. It doesn’t get easier, but I certainly get stronger. And, that too, is enough.

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