This afternoon we decided to check out a play area a friend told us about at Edwin Warner Park. She had warned me that it was essentially a mud-fest, but I was unprepared. It was essentially several piles of sand, a mud-covered playhouse, a mud creek, a water spicket, and shovels and buckets galore....a toddler's dream, but a slightly frightening sight for a mom who somewhat enjoys order and cleanliness. After a little encouragement, the twins were unstoppable. They dug, they pumped water, they poured, they used their hands. They did all the things kids should do in the summer. They got dirty. Really, really dirty. And while a part of me was freaking out, thinking their shoes would never be clean-ish again, I held that part in. And when they asked if they could fill another bucket, I said yes. And when Frances came over to tell me she was completely drenched (literally head to toe, y'all), I assured her that it was okay...fun even. And when Shep wanted to crawl in the dirt and get it between his baby toes and on his beautiful face, I let him.
Y'all, the normal me was cringing a bit. Several times I almost declared park time over and pulled out the giant purell. But instead, I focused on saying yes. And I got to watch my kids have a magical time. And when I said we were leaving in five minutes and the twins begged to stay, I remembered that our "schedule" was completely self-imposed. So we stayed. And played. And got even dirtier, if that was possible.
I'm so grateful to spend my days with these three little ones. They remind me to slow down. To enjoy the dirt and the trees and the simplicity of creation. They are teaching me to not immediately jump to "no" when things seem a little inconvenient--that, in fact, the inconvenient parts of life can be the best parts. And they are helping me to remember that sometimes a day in the park can truly be the best day of all.
|thankful for phone pics to capture unexpected sweetness|