Thirty-one years ago around this time I was pregnant. I was huge. I was uncomfortable. I was supposed to keep my feet up. But you can’t sew with your feet up, and sewing was the one activity that soothed my fears of labor.
It was about 11:30 at night. One of my friends from work had come over to sit with me. She found my fat feet humorous, but moreover liked to watch me sew with abandon. Like Edward Scissorhands trimming bushes into topiaries… threads, poly-fiberfill and snippets of fabric were flying as I made this stuffed pumpkin. I’d started around six in the evening, and I tied off the last thread as she said “Maybe tonight!” and walked out the door.
My husband was already asleep as I quietly went to the ladies room in a vain attempt to thwart at least one of my middle-of-the-night trips to relieve my tortured bladder. Something was different though, as I felt a big burp coming. Then I felt and heard a pop! And then I was peeing like a racehorse. And then, as you might imagine, we were on our way to the hospital for a typical 7-hour labor and uneventful (if you can call all that agony uneventful) delivery. A beautiful boy. 8lbs. 8 oz. Perfect in every way. Smiling and nursing within minutes of arrival. Our little “Pumpkin.”
So yes, this is a special pumpkin and one of my most cherished possessions of all my handmade crafts. I bring it out every year. Now its meaning is so much more profound, so conflicting, and never ceases to bring tears of both joy and pain. I cleaned it up a bit last year, and there’s a slight musty smell, as might be expected from something that has spent so much time in a plastic bag. But until the mice get it, or a tornado carries it away, it will come out every Halloween, to take its rightful place as the King of the Halloween Menagerie.
At thirteen months I’d already taught him to help with the housework, and at 2 years he had learned how to wrap me around his little finger, where I stayed for 26 years. And, yes, that stuffed turkey, filled with sand, is even older than the pumpkin, probably made in the early seventies. It’s quite faded now, and this year it hides under a chair in the living room. I told you I never throw anything away!!!