The Perfect Pumpkins

The perfect pumpkins would be on our front porch. Round, deep orange, corrugated evenly, and ready for carving. Decorating to complement the Fall mums blooming madly in terracotta pots, sentries at our doorway.

Those pumpkins would be the ones we bought on Wednesday. The ones we picked out at a local pumpkin patch, excited to have four gorgeous, large pumpkins for our son to enjoy, on this his third Haloween, but the first one where he is understanding what is going on. The first one where he can walk to the door, dressed in his costume, with his tiny candy bucket to say “Trick or Treat!”

Those would be the pumpkins that, upon arriving home from work yesterday, were no longer on our front porch.

Gone.

Stolen.

Likely on someone else’s step, or smashed in a parking lot for fun. Likely being used by the thief, who did not notice the red wagon in the front yard, or the tricycle, or the realization that perhaps the pumpkins they were taking were a family’s, a two-year-old boy’s pumpkins. Ready for funny faces and carvings. Ready to bring joy to a child and his parents.

Its not about the money or the value of the items, its about the violation of our family, and about the idea that someone would be as callous as to steal from a child, right off of someone’s front step, in the middle of the day. Its about the fact that in the three years we have lived in this neighbourhood, we have never felt unsafe, never worried about leaving our son’s toys out, or decorating the front step for holidays. We never thought that things would be taken.

We aren’t upset to be out the $12. We can replace the pumpkins, despite their perfection. But when I saw our bare front step, I was ready to rip someone’s head off, rampage in my wounded mama-bear armour, and find the punks that took them to give them what for. Not because I wanted the pumpkins, but because they were for my son. I was angry for my son. I’ve never felt that way before. I don’t think it would have mattered what it was that was gone, just the fact that they were taken from him.

I thank God that we had not carved them, and set them out on our front step, all in a row, ready to grin at children on Sunday. I thank God that we did not come home to them smashed on the driveway or road. My son didn’t notice they were gone, but I am sure seeing his pumpkins, or God forbid ruined Jack O’ Lanterns he helped create, would have caused tears.

Tonight, we will find our next set of perfect pumpkins, and I think we’ll keep them in the house until Sunday.

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