from the kingdom of plantea
We celebrated Halloween with my daughter Thursday. We drove 45 minutes out to Boulder. On the way we stopped at a Starbucks, got some tea, coffee and muffins. The bag was marked by the barista as Blu Muff, and I instantly conjured up an image of a really sad vagina. I couldn’t help it; it just popped up in my head. Of course they meant blueberry muffin right? Or else that is one twisted sense of humor. I’m not sure.
My girlfriend was really excited to go out to this farm and get some pumpkins from the pumpkin patch. We got there and the place was overrun by elementary school children. It was a bustling center of activity for the K through 5 crowd. Shouts of “Hey no cheating, you can’t climb over the hay bales!” were repeated by several of the concerned parents and other supervisor types.
There were groups of children separated by their own unique t-shirts. Some groups had pink tie-dye, while others stuck with the primary yellow, green and blue. It looks like a tough job, being a teacher. My daughter loved it; she sprinted through the hay bale maze about 100 times, with me frantically trying to keep up just enough to keep her within my line of sight. I just can’t let her run free yet, I have to know where she is at all times. I don’t care if I am the only parent chasing his kid through the maze; I’m not letting that girl out of my sight.
From there she took us over to the corn maze, and we walked through muddy corn rows, rife with an abundance of dead corn and dying stalks. The pumpkin patch was decimated. The only pumpkins left were carcasses of their former selves, the ones that didn’t make it out alive. Pumpkin guts were splayed all over the battlefield, the only evidence left of an unruly child who hadn’t had his or her nap and threw that poor pumpkin to the ground in a fit of anger. I imagine the parents just moved on to the next pumpkin, and properly scolded their kid. That’s how I would play it anyway.
We ended up with some small pumpkins; I don’t really recall where they found them though. My girlfriend is making us a pumpkin pie, she always does. It’s good too. 100 times through the hay bale maze, Check. A hundred times through the corn maze, Check.
Penny has a nonstop motor when she gets out there amongst the other children. She wants to be everyone’s best friend right away. She jumps in on class pictures and cries when she can’t get on the bus with all the other children. I try to relate to her 3-year-old brain, but I just can’t. She loves all people, and I try to avoid them at all costs for the most part. It creates an interesting dichotomy when it’s just her and I out in public. I put on a brave face, an hold awkward conversations with the parents of the children she befriends. It’s agonizing for me. I look at the ground, and try to be polite, constantly avoiding eye contact; I’m just sure they think I’m such a weirdo.
The ones that are worth talking to get over that, they try a little harder and eventually I get over that initial freak out of meeting new people. That’s what it is like being cross-eyed. I’m better at it now, but it’s still a struggle for me. Social awkwardness is so damn embarrassing.
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