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Pumpkins and Possibilities

This past weekend, we drove from Memphis to New Orleans.

To the people who told me how wonderful it was that I would be so much closer to my brother now, I would like to say... SIX HOURS IS JUST ENOUGH TO STILL BE FAR.

But I got to see my brother who graciously took time off of his normally busy routine... Plus, Traci!!  And their baby girl!!  Come to think of it.  Six hours isn't really that long, anyway.

Time in New Orleans is usually spent some place that is both kid friendly and kind of cool.  Choices are obviously limited.

This year, we checked out a local tradition over at Canal Place, located on, not surprisingly, Canal Street.

Operation Pumpkin.

new orleans water board mark "The New Orleans Water Board Sewer Cover. Don't Steal Them."

Local surgeons get together, carve pumpkins, and sell them for $25 a pop to the public in order to raise money for The Children's Hospital.  The kids enjoyed themselves, and, dudes, look at this pumpkin.

I don't know that guy, but he has mad surgical skills.  If I ever need a plastic surgeon, I'm looking him up.  There were lots of artsy projects for the kids to do as well.

Anyway, as I walked through this mall, I thought, "Yeah, so I brought my kids to a mall for fun, this is so America."  Of course, I thought it in that cynical tone that implies that one is highly observant of the shortcomings of one's own society. In my defense, you haven't really experienced capitalism until you see small brown children begging for candy in a Coach store.

As soon as I thought that, though, I saw my niece and my own kids and I thought the same thought, far more softly and in a far different tone this time, "Yeah, this is so America."

"Cute, right?"

Thing is, to you, these may be just some cute kids.

When I looked at these kids in the middle of the Canal Place, though, I remembered something incredibly poignant.

Without America these children would not exist.  Were it not for this nation... their parents would never have met. I think that's pretty cool.

I think that's something to be proud of, too.

It's all fine and fun to be cynical, but every now and then, we should remember that we are a good people, a kind people, a unique yet diverse people, and that we have an extraordinary capacity for personal generosity and carving awesome pumpkins.

Just saying.

That was a good pumpkin, yo.

Happy (very early) Halloween.

Reader Comments (15)

Stop posting photos of your adorable kids! You're making me want to have some of my own! :-)

The pumpkin carving is fantastic. I always love it when people find interesting ways of raising money for charity.

October 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDave2

To properly teach those kids a lesson, you could've at least bought them a Coach wristlet. Geez.

Gorgeous. All of them!

October 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersybillaw

Trick or treating outside of the Coach store, praising the virtues of America from a capitalist perspective, typing your blog from the business center in your building...Is that a Bachmann 2012 sticker I see on your bumper?

October 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

gaaaaaah! your kids are growing up! i must come visit soon before i don't recognize them. or you!
yeah, i obviously miss you. maybe i'll mail myself in the box with britt's stuff. :)

October 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

p.s. love that a tweet shows up at the bottom of your awesome new blog design. xool.

October 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

Love the new look, particularly that stunning photo of you!

Just because America ain't perfect doesn't mean it's not awesome. :)

October 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

I love that photo!

Your children are growing so fast! It just doesn't seem like that long ago I saw you holding baby Y in your arms.

October 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

This made me tear up a little bit. Thanks for the reminder, Faiqa. :)

October 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate

The last time I was feeling cynical about America, you lectured me about the longest living constitution, blah blah blah.

I gave that same lecture to a couple of cynical journalists on a press trip a few weeks ago. (Although obviously not as well.)

Thanks for the constant reminder.

October 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Britt

@Dave2, Thanks, the kids are pretty cute. Many a confirmed non-parent has fallen before them. Heh.

October 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Miss Britt, I try to be consistent about promoting our awesomeness here and abroad.

October 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Kate, Aw, don't worry, people buy the pumpkins -- they don't get cut up for nothing!! ;-)

October 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Lisa, I KNOW. It's amazing how fast time goes by in certain situations (kids) and so slow in others (redesigning blog).

October 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Megan, Thanks! And agreed.

October 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@hello haha narf, YESSS!!! BECKY IN A BOX!!

October 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

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