Saturday, April 6, 2013

playing in the mud

my kids love mud.  

do your kids love mud?

my son, in particular, has some type of sixth sense for detecting mud puddles.  it may not have rained for days but we can go to the park and he can wander off and come back with mud all over his shoes and pants.

i used to get really worked up about mud.

now i embrace it.

after all...it's just wet dirt and it washes off.  

yesterday i let my kids play in the mud.  
{by the way - this picture horrifies my husband}
when i first rounded the corner in our backyard and saw oliver spraying water on an already soggy piece of earth my initial reaction was frustration and anxiety about the mess he was about to make.  but i saw how intrigued he was and i remembered it was just wet dirt and...well...i had a decision to make...
i could either stop him in his tracks and threaten a consequence if he didn't get the heck away from the mud...or i could let him play.

he looked at me with great trepidation.  when i smiled and asked him to come over so i could roll up his pants his mouth stretched wide across his face and that big gap-tooth grin smiled up at me.

it's important to me that my kids have boundaries and know that i'm the boss of them.  it's also important to me that my kids don't feel so confined inside my boundaries that they grow up constantly looking for a way out...away from me.

so i let me kids play in the mud today.  they tossed it in the air.  they got it on their face and all in between their fingers and toes.  i had to strip them down and hose them off.  and we laughed and talked through it all.  even in the bathtub afterwards they were still giddy, recapping and looking at me with grateful eyes for allowing them that simple freedom.

i'm still the mommy.  i'm still the boss.  but the best bosses let their people get messy sometimes.  they let them try out new things even if it's inconvenient and inefficient.  they keep a tight hold on their standards not on their people...otherwise someone might wind up feeling strangled and unable to breath.

i will always wrap my fingers tight around some very important standards for my family but i will never {i pray} wrap anything so tightly around my kids that they don't feel free to move and live and breathe right here with me...in our own backyard.
{see...all clean again...and still so happy}
happy weekend friends...hope you have the chance to run and play and be free {and maybe even a little messy}!