I have two teenagers and a three-year-old. My oldest children have moments of intense idiocy, but for the most part, they are put-together young adults. Despite their exterior self-confidence, every once in a while they do something that reminds me of the children they used to be.
Last night, my youngest daughter and I were carving pumpkins. My teens are far too cool for pumpkin carving, but seeing Ella and I elbow deep in gourd guts compelled them to join in.
“I want only triangles on my jack-o-lantern,” Ella said. “’Cause triangles are the most beautiful shape.”
I personally don’t think triangles are the most beautiful shape, but I am not one to question the ascetics of a preschooler. As I was slicing triangular eyes into Ella’s pumpkin, Cole asked, “Can I carve something inappropriate?”
I wrinkled my brow. “Like what?” I asked.
“A butt crack with pumpkins guts shooting out of it.”
My little eight-year-old was back, the boy who found humor in all things gross.
“Never mind,” he said. “I have a better idea.”
In the end, Cole carved a Cyclops with a goatee.
Meg was quietly working on her pumpkin long after we had finished.
My first-born has long blonde hair, pierced ears, and multiple pairs of knee-high boots. She works part-time as a lifeguard and plays varsity soccer. Meg has a respectable academic record and drives an electric-blue pick-up (Which by the way, her parents own but she insists on calling it hers. She will have a rude awakening when we ship her off to college and the truck stays home.) She is a poised and responsible sixteen-year-old.
When she made the last cut, she turned it around. “Can you tell who it is?” she asked.