When my ex and I were together, he was the pumpkin gutter and carver. When we separated, I had no idea this, along with all spider killing, would fall to me. While I love the "look" of carved pumpkins, I don't particularly care for the messy gutting or the painstaking carving. Of course, his idea of carving was accomplished in ten slices of a blade and resulted in all of our pumpkins looking remarkably similar.
Fast forward two years and I've become adept and spider smashing and not gagging when gutting a pumpkin. This year, we decided to step it up a notch above our normal steak knife and spoon method and used actual pumpkin carving tools. I listened with no little sympathy while Joseph moaned and groaned over the gross factor and cheered Elizabeth who dove into her pumpkin with customary gusto. Then, I went inside to prepare the seeds so they could roast while we carved.
I walked back onto the deck to see my children playing a pumpkin-y version of five finger fillet. Stabbing at the pumpkin's flesh with little serrated saws, they hacked and carved, poked and prodded the tiny orange globe until only the lack of blood assured me their fingers were all intact.
I thought of the children of Sweden who are given knives to whittle on wood at five years of age and took a deep breath. "Work on your own pumpkins," I said calmly, trying not to scream in panic as Joseph's saw came down near Elizabeth's fingers.
"Okay!" they chorused.
I watched them carve their pumpkins, happily engrossed and somehow, someway totally safe.
Though I wished for a blindfold.
Do you let your children carve their own pumpkins?