Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My pumpkins

When Kathleen was a baby, approaching her first Halloween, somebody sent me a baby pumpkin costume, which I promptly passed along, because I couldn't imagine having another pumpkin.
When Henry was in the hospital, I decided he would be a pumpkin. It was hard to dress him with his IVs and monitors and oxygen and other tubes, so I decided I would make something like a large bib that would cover him from neck to foot. Despite my vision and desire to make is costume (and the fact that I spent a long part of my day just sitting in his room), I couldn't quite get to it. People wanted to do thing to help, so my mom had one of her friends make the basic pumpkin (hemmed orange fleece with a ribbon to gather the top). My mom bought a pumpkin hat and I cut a face out of felt.

After a long day of waiting for Henry's fever to break, his nurse told me he could have his costume on for a bit.

So I never planned to have another pumpkin. Until Kathleen picked pumpkin.

I suggested witch; she thought cookie monster, then giraffe, then pumpkin. And there she stuck. Again and again I'd ask, and again and again she'd answer pumpkin.

I still had the orange fleece blanket, but I didn't want to tie it around her neck (fears of strangulation). So I sewed up the sides, cut a slit in the center for her head, cut the face a bit smaller and sewed it back on, and made running stitch to gather up the bottom. Instead of the hat, I attached a felt pumpkin top and stem to a headband.
I had a night of frustration when I tried to sew her costume on my machine and spent almost two hours fiddling to get it to work. The next day I gave up and sewed it all in less time than I had wasted. My sister had offered to send me a choice of pumpkin costumes, but I really wanted to make it. There are so many things like this that I've wanted to do since Henry died, but when it came time to do or make or create, I ran up against a mental block or energy drag. So making this felt like a step forward. 

So there you have it: my two pumpkins. I actually love that I reused Henry's costume for Kathleen, and in two years I will suggest to Elizabeth (who wore Kathleen's recycled kitty costume) that she should be a pumpkin, though by that time she may very well have ideas of her own. 


  1. That is so very special that you were able to reuse Henry's costume. He looks so cute in the picture of him all dressed up. I am glad you were able to put his costume on, if only for a bit. Missing our boys, Mary

  2. I love this - and it's so amazing to see the pumpkin costume in both its incarnations. I hope Elizabeth wears it, too.

    Much love.

  3. Just beautiful, Sara. Your siblings are so connected, though one of them isn't physically here with us.

  4. Oh Sara. This is so beautiful. Your little pumpkins. I love that Kathleen couldn't be talked out of the costume--there's something really sweet about that connection.
    Love to you, friend, and happy November :)

  5. As I've already told you, I definitely like to believe that there is a reason that Kathleen decided on a pumpkin. And I'm glad that making it felt like a step forward-- how well I understand that. Love to you, Sara.

  6. What gorgeous little pumpkins, both of them. And I'm sure that Elizabeth will make a lovely little pumpkin in her turn xo