The Taste of Fall
With Opened Eyes

You Can Do It, Brennan

It was a gorgeous day on Pumpkin Street. There was not a cloud in the sky and the sun was shining brightly. Brennan had just woken up from a long, restful nap. His tousled blond hair was wet from sweat. Momma was grateful he was in a good mood. It was the perfect time to make a tasty Fall treat for their friends and to enjoy eating it, too.

“Are you ready for your snack, Brennan?” asked Momma. A nodding of the head indicated a ‘yes’.

Sitting on the kitchen counter, Brennan noticed a big bowl and several ingredients next to him. And then he spotted his new, most favorite snack ever: pumpkin bread! If it were up to him, he would eat a whole loaf of it by himself. How else can he make his Momma know how much he likes it other than asking, “More? More?”



“Smile, Brennan,” asked Momma. Momma chuckled at her son, wondering how he came to think that “smile” meant “blink”.



And there it happened, one Fall afternoon on Pumpkin Street, that Brennan and Momma baked some golden loaves of pumpkin bread for their friends while snacking on some of the deliciousness themselves.

First comes sugar…


then a teaspoon of nutmeg…


some canola oil…


and a few eggs.



“What do you want more of, baby boy?”



Brennan was so excited that they were making more pumpkin bread  that he clapped. Momma knew she could hold a piece ransom for some kisses, hugs, and nose rubs. She thought to herself, “I just might make a loaf of pumpkin bread every week for those priceless treasures.”



“Mmmmm,” muttered Brennan as he stuffed his face with another bite.


“Let’s stir it up now and make sure all the lumps get out,” Momma instructed.

Brennan grabbed onto Momma’s arm when the beater first came on, uncertain of the loud noise. Once he knew he was safe, his tiny hands grabbed the handle and watched the bowl spin around in circles.



“Oh, boy,” thought Brennan, “the pumpkin bread is ready to bake in the oven!”


While the bread was baking in the oven, Momma and Brennan went outside their home on Pumpkin Street to kick around the soccer ball and watch their dog, Molly, eat some acorns.

The next day after Brennan woke up from his nap, Momma asked him, “Are you ready to deliver our pumpkin breads?”. After the eight loaves were wrapped with colorful ribbon and tags that said, “Happy Fall”, Momma and Brennan loaded them up into the little red wagon. Brennan was most curious about the ribbon and thought he’d give it a pull.

“Oooo, what fun,” he thought.


With his bag of crackers in hand, Brennan followed behind Momma step by step, door by door. When Momma and Brennan pulled the red wagon up the driveway to their friends’ homes, Momma would hand Brennan a loaf of pumpkin bread for him to carry to the door. “You can do it, Brennan. You can carry the loaf of bread to the front door, I know you can!”

“Smile, baby boy,” said Momma.



Momma was tall enough to reach the doorbells. Brennan stood there with the pan in his hands, peering into the windows to see if someone was coming. “You can do it, Brennan. You’re doing a great job giving the pumpkin bread to our friends!” Brennan got so confident that he didn’t want Momma’s help holding the loaves.  



After all eight loaves were delivered to their friends, Momma and Brennan made their way back home with the little red wagon in tow. At just the right time, Momma knew that the remaining loaf would be brought out for a tasty treat for Brennan. And when that time came, Momma and Brennan sat together on their front lawn, looking up at the sky, snacking on some moist pumpkin bread, talking about what a beautiful day it was, and wondering how their friends were enjoying their bread.



And that’s what happened, several Fall afternoons on Pumpkin Street.







About this same time last year, Brennan and I came across Amy Hest’s book, You Can Do It, Sam at the library. It quickly became one of my most favorite children’s books.

Taking place on a cold winter day on Plum Street, Mrs. Bear and Sam wake up early one morning and bake their friends cakes. They excitedly wait for them to come out of the oven whereupon they venture out together in the snow to deliver the cakes. Mrs. Bear encourages Sam to walk up to the door to deliver the cakes all by himself. Likely a four year old bear, Sam replies, “All by myself?” to which Mrs. Bear puts her arm around Sam and says, “You can do it, Sam.” As the story comes to a close, the momma and boy head home, and to Sam’s delight, there are two small cakes left for each of them to enjoy eating together. With hot cocoa sitting next to a fire, the two of them tell stories and fill their bellies with cakes.

Part of me loved the story so much because I love cold, wintry days to nestle inside by a fire drinking hot chocolate and snuggling with my boys. As we headed into the winter season last year when I discovered the book, I couldn’t help but feel delight envisioning some of the things I love most about the season. I also loved the story’s simple message about the joy of giving. I tucked the idea away in my mind as something to do with Brennan one day. And I hope it will be the first of many things we do together to help instill an attitude of cheerful giving in his heart. What also drew me into the story was the close and loving relationship between Mrs. Bear and Sam. She instilled courage in the little bear, included him in the baking, and shared a special moment together over cakes and hot chocolate at the end. I resonated with the desires in Mrs. Bear to savor the precious moments with her boy.

So the short story I wrote above is a {really rough} parallel on the endearing book, You Can Do It, Sam using mine and Brennan’s fun moments that happened one day on Pumpkin Street.



Precious, precious, precious! You are such a good Momma!

Love the story...loved the bread! It's already gone as I expected!

Soooo stinkin precious!!!!! Tell that sweet boy he needs to make a delivery at my house, ha!

I would LOVE to live on Pumpkin Street! What a wonderful way of beginning to teach (by example) how to share and give.... especially something that is so precious to that little one. Someday maybe there will be a book on the store's book shelves called "Pumpkin Street". :)

So cute!

What a precious post and a priceless memory!!! I love it. Oh and I LOVE LOVE all things pumpkin!!

One of our FAVORITE books ... we have Kiss Goodnight, Sam & my little "Gus" never tires of hearing it. I loved seeing your little Brennan and how you turned this into such a beautiful teachable moment of generosity by making & delivering the bread. Beautiful!

Meggie: I swear there is an identical picture of you making the same face Brennan is (second photo). You are probably the same age, sitting on the counter making Christmas cookies with your Christmas apron on. We have to get it and place them side-by-side. Unbelievable! Love, Daddy

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