I have a confession to make: I love it when my son gets dirty. Paint-spattered face, grass-stains on the knees of his jeans, streaks of dirt covering his tush…I love it all. I love that he seems to seek out opportunities to get messy, I love the joy he takes in dirt and sand and mud, and I love seeing his eagerness to explore and — quite literally — get his hands dirty. The more involved he gets in his play, as he learns about the world he lives in, the filthier he gets. I’m hoping that every smear of soil, every smudge of earth across his face strengthens his connection with the natural world.
Shane was playing in his corner of the garden the other day, while I tackled the weeds around the tomato plants. He was quiet…too quiet…and I glanced up to discover that the gate leading to the water faucet was wide open, his little area was empty, and that there was a growing mud puddle beneath the running faucet that was rapidly swallowing his shoes.
I didn’t know he could open the garden gate, let alone turn on the faucet by himself.
It’s hard to be upset when he was so darn cute, splashing and wallowing in the mud, laughing as it oozed and squished coolly between his bare toes.
So, I let him play (and stood by with the camera, of course!). By the time we had to head in for lunch, he was encrusted in drying mud from fingertips to toes.
And hysterically enough, before agreeing to walk back to the house, he insisted on rinsing off his sandals before putting them back on his muddy feet.
I had to strip him down in the driveway and let him dance in the spray of the garden hose before bringing him inside…and he still wound up having a bath before lunch!
“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet
and the winds long to play with your hair.”
~ Kahlil Gibran
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Lisa @ 5 Orange Potatoes is hosting Outdoor Challenge Mondays,
a challenge in which participants get their children outdoors, experiencing nature, every day (rain or shine!),
and then post about the highlights of the previous week each Monday.
Check out this week’s post on her blog to see the outdoor adventures of all who are participating in this challenge!