Saturday, October 3, 2015

Visiting the Patch {An Annual Tradition}

One of the things I am learning about myself is that I can be pretty rigid (hmmm, wonder where my oldest gets it from?).  I have an idea about how something should go and if it doesn't go said way, I can get my undies in a bit of a bunch.  I'm practicing how to lower my own expectations, not to minimize or reduce, but in order to allow for evolution and accommodation in how things will change as our kids grow older and as time moves things in different directions.

Our annual fall trip to the pumpkin patch is one of the areas in which I used to have pretty rigid expectations (for myself) in terms of how I wanted these visits to go.  They were never picture-perfect, but these visits usually involved a few hours spent at the patch - sometimes with friends! (hey there, Vrieze family, I'm talking about you!) - taking scrapbook worthy photos with the pumpkins and engaging with all of the outdoor activities each of the patches had to offer.  And these were fun visits.  Awesome visits, even.  Fall + pumpkins + young kids.  Quintessential.  

Since we've been in Midland, our fall tradition has evolved a bit, because of a number of different factors.

1) Our realtor's company hosts a customer appreciation event at Grandma's Pumpkin Patch every fall.  Free admission to the patch activities, usually with some sort of special event as well.  This is the weekend we aim for because we're cheap.

2) For the last two years, the Saturday this event has been scheduled for has been miserable, weather wise.  Cold, sometimes rainy, and always windy.  It doesn't exactly encourage hanging outdoors for an extended period of time.

3) Our Saturday schedule in the fall is full of soccer, so we've had to juggle our trip to the patch with the boys' soccer games.  It can make for a quick entrance and even quicker exit at the patch.  

4) We currently have an uncooperative toddler and an unenthusiastic 8-year-old.  Oh, how time flies.  

All of those factors played a part in today's visit.  So it was in and out, and we did the best that we could with what the circumstances dealt us.  I should be clear, though, that as I learn to be flexible so that I'm not disappointed when my own self-imposed expectations don't pan out, this is very much still worth it to me.  As our family evolves, I have to evolve, too.  And as I look at these {very few} photographs, I'm reminded that just because things aren't the way they used to be, it doesn't mean that this still isn't worth every second.  {And as time continues to pass, and things continue to change, and maybe one or more of our children don't want to indulge mom in this silly tradition anymore, I'll need to heed my own advice and remember - it's ok! - it still matters, even if it doesn't look like how I pictured it in my head.}

I'm learning to be open and to be flexible.  I'm learning that things don't have to look a certain way - or continue to look a certain way - for it to matter.

And maybe, just maybe, we need to get over our frugality and invest in a visit on a much warmer weekend!


For nostalgia sake, here's a look back into the past at our fall tradition.

2008 (with a sneak back at 2007, too, before I started blogging)
2014  (hmmm, apparently I still have some catching up to do, as I know the Vrieze family was with us last year...)

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