An Open Letter to the Parents of the Pumpkin Smashers


To Whom It May Concern:

I have a framed poster on my bedroom wall. It says “Think in Magic.” At this time of year, that’s easy to do. The fall season is one of pure magic – everything from the colors to the smells to the crispness in the air that tickles our bones, but doesn’t quite sink in to them the way the cold of winter does. And then after a blissful month full of falling leaves, apple-y treats, and pumpkin spice EVERYTHING, Halloween comes to wrap a big orange bow around all the autumnal magic. What is not to love about this time of year?

Well, sadly I can answer this: Your Children, The Pumpkin Smashers.

You might know if this letter applies to you. Or you might not. I’m not sure which scenario is worse. If you know your child is a pumpkin smasher, I certainly hope you are doing something about that. If you are completely unaware your child is a pumpkin smasher, then you probably have more problems on your hands than you can even imagine. But regardless of whether you know it or not, a group of your teen children, the now infamous Pumpkin Smashers here in our town, did cause my 10 year-old sorrow and tears when I told her they destroyed her four pumpkins a few weeks ago, including the nice big orange one with the perfect stem that she chose from Kroger, brought home, and decorated with a giant googley eye before she displayed it proudly on our front porch. That was just one night before your teens came along and committed their destructive and mean-spirited behavior on that same porch, my personal property.

Some of you have said, “But it’s just a few pumpkins.” That’s exactly why you are raising pumpkin smashers. Let’s think of it as a gateway crime. What’s next? Windshields? Bedroom windows? Will you be as accepting of their behavior even then?

It’s highly likely you’re also the parents of the young people who break the rules of the road while driving and then proceed to flip me off when I tap my horn at them. As I have explained to The Precious Pair, I use my car horn – an official resource provided to me – to alert others when they are doing something they should not, like swinging a U-turn in the middle of the city street I take to drop the younger one off at grade school. The middle finger of one’s hand is not an official resource for the same. In fact, it’s just flipping crass (no pun intended.)

It’s highly likely you are NOT the parents of the young people who work at Chick-fil-A, because let’s hand it to them, they are the Anti-Pumpkin Smashers. Always wearing a smile, bagging up nuggets enthusiastically, and saying it’s their pleasure to serve me, even if I’m a bit grumpy after getting flipped off by a teen driver on my way to Chick-fil-A. Thank you to these dedicated fast foodies who give teens a good name.

I do feel qualified to make this commentary because I am the parent of a teenager myself. While she has mastered a fair amount of sass in recent years, I can confidently state she is not the pumpkin-smashing type. Nor are her friends. They’ve been raised to know vandalism is a big fat no-no. Somehow you missed conveying this key lesson to your children. And what a shame for you. Chances are, since they do not respect the property of others, they do not respect yours either.

It all comes down to this for me: Mean people suck. But, unfortunately, the world has them and always will. Thanks to the parents who are raising them to be that way. All we can do to combat your child-rearing ways is to keep bringing up much nicer humans. Because kindness prevails. I believe in the magic of it. Perhaps you should, too.

Stop the smashing,


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