photo prop bringing strangers together in St. Clair Shores

Halloween 2020 will be unlike any other as we maintain social distance, wear masks, and, altogether, keep to ourselves to prevent any kind of spike of COVID-19 cases. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be unique, safe, and safe ways to make memories.

One of those ways will be the traveling pumpkin.

Samantha Dittmer of St. Clair Shores delivered her daughter, Sadie, during the pandemic and wanted to make Halloween special. 

She got a big pumpkin, cleaned it out, carved holes for legs, and decorated it just like a picture she saw online. Then she put Sadie inside of it.

“She is 4 and a half months old so she really just wanted to eat the pumpkin. So it was kind of hard to keep her upright to not eat the pumpkin to take the picture but I also think those are my favorites.”

Then Dittmer thought about what to do with the perfectly good pumpkin.

“After I was done with it, I was like, now what? I could just put it outside but if someone could get use to this,” she said.

So Samantha posted the picture on the St. Clair Shores Facebook group Buy Nothing – an online marketplace where everything is free. There was immediate interest and Samantha would soon learn the power of this pumpkin.

“I left it out on my porch. She came out and grabbed it and then from there someone said when you are done with it can I have it? It just kept going,” she said.

The pumpkin was passed from one family to another and, along the way, they posted the most adorable pictures of their babies tucked inside.

“What’s cuter than babies and pumpkins? It reminded me of the ‘Sisterhood of Traveling Pants’ except for babies in pumpkins,” said Tracy Martin.

Tracy and her best friend, who also gave birth during the height of COVID-19, used the same pumpkin. Tracy’s daughter didn’t quite fit inside the gourd but she was still amazed about how one pumpkin brought together so many strangers during a time when we’ve had to live so separately.

“Bringing these moms together these were strangers and these super cute babies born at a super crazy time, I think that is extra special about this story,” said Tracy.

The pumpkin will continue to travel until, well, it starts to rot. But the images that parents now have of their little pumpkins will last forever.

“I love it. It makes me happy to know other people can get use out of it and other people can make those same memories,” Samantha said.

Tracy said she’s also trying to come up with a festive idea for Christmas, something she hopes she can pass on as well.

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