Enjoy Carving A Pumpkin

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Enjoy Carving A Pumpkin

By Julee Mitchelsin

I am surprised how many people I talk to that have missed out on some of the most foundational experiences of childhood. I love counseling couples and families and helping them find creative ways to spend family time together and to enjoy the smallest things in life together. So as I worked with a family last fall, I suggested that they spend the upcoming Saturday doing nothing but carving pumpkins together.

I was astounded and a little bit frustrated when the three children looked at each other and then to their parents without the slightest clue of what I was suggesting. They had never carved a pumpkin. But not only that, these children had also never even purchased pumpkins for their front porch during the harvest season. Their parents laughed with a bit of embarrassment and tried to justify the situation to me.

I wasn't interested in hearing excuses about why the kids were deprived of such a normal and fun childhood experience like choosing and carving a pumpkin. Instead, I just wanted to hear these parents verbalize a commitment to their children to spend Saturday rectifying the situation. In any family therapy session it is important to not look backward too far but instead to look to what can be improved for the future.

So spending time carving a pumpkin is simply a metaphor for the fact that families need to spend time together. Our culture is surrounded by families who are literally falling apart from the insides out, and I think that lack of time spent together is one of the most significant and solvable problems attacking families. Taking an afternoon to carve a pumpkin, bake cookies or go for a hike is something that all too many families see as a foreign concept.

If you have or are planning to have a family of your own, then make a commitment now to make family time a priority. Let it be important to you to spend time with the people that you love the most. Go to a pumpkin patch and each pick out a special pumpkin to spend time carving. Or walk through the park and stop for hot chocolates. Whatever you do, just be intentional about spending time together and about getting to know each member of your family in fun situations. Your life, the lives of your family, and our world will all be better as families really take seriously the need for good family time.

About the Author: Julee Mitchelsin loves doing family therapy, but she gets frustrated seeing how little time families spend together in our busy world. Take time to carve a pumpkin or bake some cookies, she suggests. See www.pumpkinplace.info for more info.

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