Some of my fondest memories from my childhood are ones that involved lots of mud. Even though I grew up with a Mother who still does not like the smallest crumb or speck of dirt on anything, she gave me plenty of opportunities to get my hands dirty. She would hand me a bag of buckets and bowls and I would sit for hours in the big mud hole in our back yard making all sorts of wonderful concoctions. I could make a gourmet dinner or a beautiful muddy chocolate cake. When it was time to come in for the day, I remember my Mother making me strip down on the porch as she would hose me off before entering the clean zone.
You can imagine my sheer delight and surprise when I walked out my front door this week to find my son, completely absorbed in his hard work, in the flow of the moment, and totally covered in mud. He had dug a hole in my front yard and filled it with water. My first thought was, oh no! my grass......what about all the work I have put into my little yard?! Then I remembered that wonderful mud hole I had as a child, and re-framed my thinking. I looked at him playing in all that mud, covered from head to toe and felt a wave of joy come over me.
He loved squishing it in his fingers, feeling the soft silky texture of wet earth on his skin. This is the earth education that can only come from getting your hands in the mud. I want my children to feel the earth they live on. Become connected and make friends with it.
With hand sanitisers becoming a major part of children's lives, I want to suggest that we re-think the value of mud as an important part of growing up. With dirt under their nails and a smile on their faces, I have decided to leave the hole in the front of my house for a while, until I find a better home for it.
This blog entry is a part of the (Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge)