Last year I shared with y’all about the Teal Pumpkin Project, which can best be described on the FARE website: “Launched as a national campaign by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) in 2014, the Teal Pumpkin Project™ raises awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season.”
Basically, pick up some non-food items to give out as treats on Halloween, put a teal pumpkin (or sign) to let folks know you have safe treats, and watch the smiles on the faces of children who so often are left out of special occasions.
My child with food allergies has the best attitude. She knows that I will be sending something for her to eat at birthday parties instead of the party cake. She gets that we can’t eat at certain places or have to skip certain activities because of risk of exposure. She has become so proactive in self-carrying her epi-pens. She smiles when I hand her a snack I brought even though she really, really wants that fresh-baked brownie with icing at the coffee shop.
And until last year, the only treats I let her have on Halloween were the ones that our sweet neighborfriend packaged up especially for her. (They’ve been gone for two Halloweens. We are so happy to have them back.) Last year, another dear neighborfriend read about the Teal Pumpkin Project and put hers out and made magic happen. The smile on my girl’s face after an evening of make-believe and visiting with friends and calling out “Trick or Treat”–priceless. Spider rings really can bring sheer joy, y’all.
It’s funny that Halloween has become such a big deal for my children. It wasn’t for us growing up. We lived out in the country with no neighbors close by who really trick or treated. I can only remember going a time or two with my friends.
But these children? We’ve been talking about who we want to “be” for close to two months now. I think we are all finally set and ready. (fingers crossed) However, our Princess was pretty sad because we really didn’t have anything decorating our yard for fall or Halloween, save our flag by the mailbox and the beautiful mum a sweet neighbor brought by “just because.” It didn’t help matters when everyone else on our street put out something, and here we were–bare. When her best bud’s family who have lived here just a few months went all out, my girl begged me to put something out.
Today we had some Out and Abouts, and I wanted to give Cooter one more shot at finding his “perfect” Halloween costume. He’s found a couple he liked, but they just didn’t fit. I decided to go by the GW “Bo0tique” (seriously, that’s what they call it–I’ve started something, y’all) where all of the Fall and Halloween things are. They have marketed this so well that they even have a book of costume ideas you can put together using ordinary things found at your local GW. AWESOME. We especially loved the “selfie” one, complete with a phone, selfie stick, any outfit of choice, and an empty frame. So fun. (And selfies are Aub’s thing, so we think this should be her costume this year.)
While we were perusing the costumes, the decor along the wall caught my eye. Y’all. They had some adorable (and scary) terra cotta and other style jack o’lanterns among so much else. Nothing was very much at all, it being the GW and all. SCORE. WIN. I’m not into keeping up with the Jones’, but I do enjoy a good bargain and watching my young’uns get excited about decorating.
We all picked out something and talked about where we would put it on the porch or in the yard. In the end, Cooter found something he liked for Halloween, and we were done. We were all smiles.
This afternoon after some grammar and math and piano, we headed out to the yard to get to work. We are still very much a work in progress, so please don’t judge. Yet. Here’s a sneak preview though.
Tonight I’m thankful for all the joy of this day. For littles who spend a great amount of time dreaming about and becoming someone else for an evening. For my girl who takes all of the seasonal decorating so seriously and who got so excited about making it happen today. For Cooter whose sense of humor found him howling laughing over a watermelon jack o’lantern. For the GW where fun things can be found if only you look for them, and for the time and energy to do just that, I am grateful.
Most of all I’m thankful to live in a community where inclusion and keeping children safe is important. The Teal Pumpkin Project just started last year, and I’ve seen articles and posts about it cross my path numerous times since the beginning of October. If you are able to make it happen at your home this year, a huge thank you on behalf of Mamas of children with food allergies and other dietary issues everywhere. If you can’t, that’s okay too. Just being aware and compassionate is such a huge gift.
For more information and flyers and great stuff like that about the Teal Pumpkin Project, please click here.
Love and Happy Orange and Teal to all.