Plop goes the flour into the silver bowl.
“Let’s do a play mom!” says Goldi “It’s almost Thanksgiving!”
SHHHH goes the melted butter.
“I know, I am making the pumpkin pie!”
“Pumpkin Pie!” Goldi says those words like it’s Christmas. “Okay, you be the mom Pilgrim and I will be the Little Girl Pilgrim.”
“Okay, but I also have to make this pumpkin pie. ”
“That’s perfect.” she says as she jumps and flaps her hands.
“Let me introduce it. ” She says clearing her throat. She stand in the middle of the room. “Ladies and Gentlemen Boys and Girls, we will now tell you the story of the First Pumpkin Pie.
Impromptu plays right in the middle of life’s events is a norm in our house. Yet, right in that moment I was slow to act. My mind had to rehearse how to thread it all together:the Pilgrims leaving their homeland for freedom to worship and pray, the long journey on the Mayflower, meeting and befriending people of a totally different walk of life, working the land, suffering, and then a Vivaldi’s Spring announcement of planting and growing, ending in a bountiful harvest and a feast where people of two different races and faiths, sat down, ate, and played together not just for one day but three! All on the day of the First Pumpkin Pie.
This was more than a just a little play time. It was a teachable moment. The reason for the Day of Thanksgiving to really sink in and develop into a deep understanding. A play always does the trick with Goldi. It gives her a chance to live and breath life’s learning. Sometimes, it is the only way.
“Once there were some….” she pauses a bit and looks at me as I finish measuring the filling ingredients. “What were those people called again? ” she asks.
“Pilgrims. ” I answer as I stir.
“Yes, Pilgrims. They were about to take a long trip on the Mayflower. ”
Goldi changes her Narrator voice into a Pilgrim Girl:
“Come on Mom! The Mayflower will be here any minute.”
“I am almost ready dear. ” Says me the Pilgrim Mom “Did you pack your trunk?”
“Yes, I have my clothes, food, and my toothbrush. ” Pilgrim Goldi says.
“Good. Now all we need to do is grab the seeds.”
“Seeds? Whatever for mother?” she says.
” When we get to the new land, we will have a new home. So we need to have food. ”
“But what about the Pumpkin Pie mom!”
Being history dunce, I can’t draw from many known facts about Thanksgiving. Pumpkin pie had to be eaten. IT was the perfect time of harvesting this vegetable. But did they have enough eggs, condensed milk, flour, and the perfect open hearth oven to make it? Did they have the spices? For Goldi, pumpkin pie is synonymous with Thanksgiving.Just the way it is with me.
“We will one day child. When we get to the new land we can run free and worship the God we love. We will build a new home. We will grow food. We will have a new life. ” I say. After such words, I find myself really sounding Pilgrim. So serious, determined, and ambitious.
“But how are we ever going to do all that? “Pilgrim Goldi says. She too is sounding her Pilgrim part. Curious, anxious, and ready.
As I pour the filling into the easy pie crust, ( no shortening melted butter- the kind you press in and not the kind you roll out) Goldi busies herself with building a house, a fire, and planting the seeds. She hurries over to me and wipes her forehead.
“I think all the work is done mom. Now can we have our Pumpkin Pie?”
“Soon child. But first we have to wait for the pumpkin to grow. It should be ready after the winter snows melt. “
“You mean we have to wait all that time?! Pilgrim Goldi says stomping her feet.
At that moment, the smell of a real pumpkin pie baking is what we breathe in. Tasting time was two or three hours away. The wait of the Pilgrims was just not in her grasp nor mine. I can’t imagine that first winter when the Pilgrims were cold and sick. When the draft of a winter wind battled their small little fire on the hearth. The wait for spring was all to unbearable. And meeting that first Indian all brown and unknown. Yet so much they knew that could help. And the wait for the Pumpkin Pie. That first slice- it was a winter, spring, and labor intensive garden growing everything first before tasting time away.
“No worries. ” I tell her.
Goldi jumps into a narration and my ears tune in:
“And so the Pilgrims worked hard for a long time. They had some special friends called the Indians to help them. They knew the pumpkin pie would not be ready until the work was done. And when it was ready, they all sat down and held hands to say a prayer and then when they ate it …. they said “This is the best pie ever! Happy Thanksgiving everyone. “
Planting the seeds, working the land, waiting for rain and sun to grow the crops. Waiting for the winter winds to blow past.Waiting for what looked foe to turn friend. Waiting and accepting the kind of life that would unfold. Waiting with prayer for God’s protection and provision. Celebrating His goodness and thanking Him. This was the Pumpkin Pie Pilgrim Story.
Working on social skills, anxieties, building friendships, and ….faith.Planting the seeds through lessons, social stories, and .. plays like this one. Waiting for understanding of the why and how. Waiting for the seasons of stress and hardship to blow past. Celebrating the successes of her growth, her maturity, and her gifts. This is Goldi’s Pumpkin Pie Story. All for that moment of slice of pumpkin pie- dabbled with a little whipped cream.
That first pumpkin pie served on the first Thanksgiving must have tasted like a piece of heaven. The verdict still stands on the pie this Thanksgiving.Regardless, I know Goldi is ready to celebrate.
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. (Psalm 107:8-9 ESV)