Yesterday it was HOT here. Like firey bowels of Hell hot…but with a humidex. Anyway, we got out the trusty sprinkler to cool off.
Of course, this happened.
And then everyone wanted in on the fun.
See? My eco-kids are all about sustainability. They moved the mud puddle that would have eventually been absorbed by the ground, into the plastic (now dented) lid to their sandbox. Smarties.
Anyway, I was sitting there watching this go down, when I felt it rising. You know what I’m talking about. The urge to worry about how to clean them up before they all ran inside and climbed all over the couches and left trails of muddy footprints all over the floor. And NO, I am not cruel enough to spray them off with the freezing cold hose.
So, I felt the urge, and I stuffed it. For the first time in a long time, I just “let it go.” Well would you get a load of me with my long flowing hair, adorned in flowers and my Stevie Nicks dress on. I’m like a gentle, frickin’ spirit or something.
This face didn’t hurt.
In all seriousness, it’s hard to fight that caretaker instinct to keep everything in a neat tidy little package so it can be filed away and easily found again later when you need it. I said “instinct” not “reality,” okay? Sheesh. My house looks like a bad episode of Hoarders half the time.
In any event, I was able to push these feelings aside, and let the kids get as dirty as possible and they had a blast (duh). When it came time to come inside, I, a person of few items of clothing, felt those feelings creeping up again as I thought, I can’t afford to get covered in mud, maybe I’ll just hold Ben like a dirty diaper, with as little contact as possible and at a good arms length.
But I fought that instinct and scooped up my dirty little boy like he just ran home from his first day of school. I got covered in mud and we all walked into the house and I put the kids in the shower to rinse off. (I lost my Stevie Nicks dress and hairdo in that fiasco let me tell you.)
I changed my shirt before making dinner, for hygiene’s sake and went back to work. I noticed a little patch of mud that was stuck by my elbow, but kept forgetting to wash it off. And at the end of the day, when everyone was tuckered out and tucked in, I noticed that little mud spot on my elbow and felt fun. Pure, innocent, kid fun. It felt like when you were little, when you were able to sneak through the whole day with a rock in your pocket, and you put it down beside your bed when you went to sleep (I am wondering now if I’m the only person who ever did this) and just stared at it as you drifted off to sleep. Pride, joy, satisfaction and above all, fun. The mud gave me that sense of fun that you don’t often get after the kids are in bed.
So what, you ask? All I’m saying is to make it a point to get muddy every once in a while. Have fun. Remember. And above all, let them be kids in the short time they’ve got to do it, without making them worry if mom’s going to get mad that the mud they just tracked across the floor added one more item on her to do list. It’s not just the kids that benefit from this kind of attitude adjustment.
Now, go make a mess.