When we moved to this farm over four years ago, I had no idea it meant that we would become a real farm family, unafraid of things like mice and dirt and eating fruit with worms in it. My girls can rock playing in the mud, and my little boy is learning fast.
I've never wanted to be particularly uptight about letting my kids get dirty. As it turns out, they are covered in dirt often as a regular part of going outside. It just seems like part of a healthy childhood to allow some filth, even if it ends up meaning more laundry for me. And as much as is in my control, I would like to give my children a healthy childhood.
Like moths to a flame are children to mud. At some point between childhood and now I lost my desire to roll around in the mud, and they will lose it too. Is it because I did it enough to purge the need from my system? Or because my imagination has dulled? Or because I became too darn practical and don't want to take time out for a second shower today? Probably all of the above.
We spend a fair amount of time holding back as adults. Too many reasons to be responsible. Too many things to feel self-conscious over. Too much fear of the future. These are hindrances children don't inherently have, and I am oh so glad to celebrate this freedom of theirs for a few more years. That's what summer days are all about.
Rolling in the mud is a good reminder to celebrate the season we are in now. To celebrate today without anxieties about what may or may not be next. To temporarily let go of the "what might happen"s and the "I don't feel like getting dirty"s in order to engage in what is happening at this very moment. It means having a sense of humor when someone squirts you with a hose, instead of my newest adult tendency to snap at the person who did it. In these final warm days of August, go ahead and take another run through that sprinkler or a good roll in the mud. We can't get these days back again.
Straight into the bathtub after this. Next project on the list is installing an outdoor shower. Every farmhouse needs one.