Learning from Laughter: The Pumpkin that Cried Tears

isaac pumpkinBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann as part of her series on parenting- Learning from Laughter.

With the table covered in newspaper, the three of us began carving pumpkins. Isaac embraced the gunk helping to pull it out while the Halloween music played and the moon shown out the window. When it came time to cut the faces, I sat beside him and asked what he wanted. We drew it out together in marker. He told me he wanted square eyes and a triangle nose. Out of the blue he insisted that the pumpkin have a mustache. Then I asked about the mouth. Do you want a smile? “No. It’s a sad pumpkin.” I tried to draw a sad mouth. Then he said “Pumpkin crying.” He was asking for tears. I carved out some tears falling from the square eyes. He smiled in total delight and pride at his sad pumpkin. Continue reading “Learning from Laughter: The Pumpkin that Cried Tears”

Drumming and Jack-o-Lanterns

pumpkinBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

Late at night, I would sneak into our living room, lie on the floor, and put my ear to the ground. I could hear the drumming and catch the tune to the chants that had for years drifted me into dreams. If I really pushed my ear close, I could make out my mom’s voice as she joined with the circle of women monthly sharing song, dreams, and summer vision quests deep in the woods.

My family was deeply Christian. My mom loved incense and the sacraments. But she was also starved for a spirituality that rooted itself on the ground- in the trees and the hawks and the snow. She longed for rituals that connected her body to the waves and the changing moon. She clung to the tension of multiple traditions knowing that she needed them both. Continue reading “Drumming and Jack-o-Lanterns”