Saturday, January 9, 2010

Delicious dirt

I wouldn't normally consider myself an obsessively clean person. But I was going through last summer's pictures and had some thoughts about how I might actually be a bit obsessive about keeping my kids clean. (I habitually clean my kids hands and face right after they are done eating. I don't think that I am going to let this habit go... Gary lets them go often enough.)

However, I had the thought that I need to let my kids get dirty more often. I realized that though I think I enjoy camping I really don't like the filth that comes with it. I realized that the dirt on my kids actually kinda stresses me. But when I look through the pictures and see my kids so thrilled with being in the elements, I remember what it was like playing in the ditch as a kid, making mud stews, playing in puddles and rolling in the grass, reading in the apple tree, trudging through the cow field in irrigation boots and gathering chicken eggs. What am I getting at? I had plenty of dirty opportunities as a kid. I got to play outside a lot. We had a lot of property to explore.

Where we live my kids don't really have that same opportunity. But I do love where we live. I just need to take the opportunities to get out with them more often and let them experience life, leave the path a little and walk in the weeds, kick up the dust and splash in the puddles, play in the rain and such. Loosen the leash a little. Put aside my own comforts better and enjoy life with them. Let them get dirty.

Of course it's easy for me to reflect on what I did wrong this last summer as I sit in the midst of winter and enjoy feeling more capable of life. I was dealing with thyroid stuff all summer, well, since Genève was born. Everything just seemed too complicated, even something as simple as taking my kids out to the park out our front door. I couldn't wrap my head around it. It was SO hot, and what was I going to do with the baby who needed to be fed? No where to sit, other people's irritating children with no supervision, etc. It seems all simple and silly now, but that's the trick of thyroid levels. Get them right and life is life, get them wrong and it's just not cool.

Still, dirt. That's really what I am thinking about. There were two pictures in particular that reminded me of this and prompted my "dirty" thoughts. This one.

It reminds me of old pictures of my older brother and my Dad. Working together.
And this one. You really can't stop a little boy from picking up dirt and watching it fall from his little fists... and why would you want to really?

And since I am on the subject.
When Zurich had learned to sit up we were camping and I realized I wasn't letting him sit on his own because there wasn't any real nice clean place to do it, except the tent but it was too hot in there during the day. Gary asked me why I wouldn't let him just sit on the ground. "Come on, just let him get dirty," he coaxed. "He'll eat the dirt," was my only defense.

And this picture reminds me how not long ago this was even though it was in 2008 end of summer. Genève is this age now. Time goes by so fast.

So maybe this is a type of resolve:
Take opportunities this summer to play outside, go on walks, play in the dirt. Let the kids get dirty. It's a childhood rite of passage.

1 comment:

  1. I love getting dirty! At least I did when I was little. It is amazing how it suddenly changes when you are the one that has to clean everything up! I love playing in the rain the most. I love this post. Hopefully I can do better this summer!