On the very last day of October, the night of the 31st, we celebrate a very special holiday, Halloween. For some people, Halloween is their most favorite holiday because it’s a day you get to dress up and pretend to be anything you want. Our Halloween book is unique because it portrays the holiday from a pumpkin’s point of view. His name, and the title of the book, is Stumpkin, by Lucy Ruth Cummins.
In this book, pumpkins are in a shopkeeper’s window. A little girl chooses a pumpkin and carries it off. All the other pumpkins are worried about their friend. Then they look across the street and see that he is high up on a perch for everyone to see. But he isn’t a pumpkin anymore, he’s a jack ‘o lantern! They all want to be carried off to a new home and become a special jack’o lantern for everyone to see. One pumpkin realizes something is very wrong. He is different. He has no stem, only a stump. He thinks to himself, Poor little stemless Stumpkin,” but then he thinks how there is still plenty to like about him. He is a handsome pumpkin—as orange as a traffic cone, round as a basketball—and twice as big!
Days go by. Finally, Halloween night arrives. All the other pumpkins are gone, except for Stumpkin. The shopkeeper scoops up lonely Stumpkin, carries him off, carves his face and yes! Stumpkin becomes a special jack o’ lantern, too! The shopkeeper perches him in his window right next to Stumpkin’s friend the black cat. Everyone looks in the window to see handsome Stumpkin. He is very, very happy.
So, dearest Elena, what is the moral of this story?
Stumpkin always thought he was perfect, so orange, big and round, yet why was he not picked to be perched in someone’s home? The story teaches us that though we may be a little different we are unique, special in our own way. We come to realize no one is perfect. Like the pumpkin, I had to learn this lesson, too. Your Daddy taught me. And I’m glad he did because I know I have tried quite hard in my life to be perfect when I shouldn’t have.
The most important thing for us to understand is that we have value, regardless of whether other people recognize it or not. Being perfect, standing out, or getting noticed, these things don’t matter when you value yourself. The moment you understand this, you have attained everything you could ever want from being perfect or noticed.
Halloween is a lot about trying to stand out and be the best version of the character they are portraying with their costume. In other words, everyone wants to be the scariest and most life-like skeleton, the prettiest princess, or the ugliest monster. It seems that everywhere, especially in social media, people are trying to get noticed and get attention. For Stumpkin, it is his lack of a stem that makes him stand out. If you recall, his thought about his stump was that something was very wrong and he questioned his own self- worth. No, in fact, it was exactly that, that made him special and unique. There were other people who overlooked him, but there was also someone who knew Stumpkin really well and always recognized his value, the shopkeeper.
Elena, the most important thing to know just within yourself is that you have value, regardless of whether other people recognize it or not. Being perfect, standing out or getting noticed, those things don’t matter when you already value yourself. Mommy feels that the very thing that makes you different from everybody else throughout your life is likely to transform you into what makes you beautiful, and how you will shine.
Self-love and knowing you have value is a life-long journey. It never ends. It took Mommy so long to recognize her value, and it never comes from what other people think of you. You don’t need to do anything, except make choices that you feel good about and leave you having respect for yourself. Along the way, you’ll make other decisions you’re not proud of. That’s okay. We only truly learn when we make mistakes.
Dearest Elena, one of my deepest wishes is for you is to be comfortable in your own skin and find out for yourself why I can’t help but love and cherish every moment with you. That’s the lesson. Always remember, I love every inch of you. To me, you are the sun, the moon and the stars which is why you are my Moonpie. Happy Halloween!