‘Do you know that your kids are knee deep in mud right now?’*
This text from a neighbor last week made me smile. Those gorgeous days that we had before the snow decided to make a return made me smile, and stop doing dishes to look outside to check up on the kids again, playing in a pit of mud leftover from the decision to have an eight foot swimming pool on the grass last summer.
I sent him a text message back, with only two words, ‘that’s great!’
The water table has turned into a mud table, dragged into the center of what’s been dubbed mud island. There’s a pile of rocks, some tires, a few 2x4s that have been broken, made into teeter-totters and a back yard that looks like it’s a complete mess.
Looks can be deceiving though, because that complete mess means they’re doing it right.
They’re out there building forts with pallets and tires. They’re making pies of mud and coming in dirtier than they’ve ever been. They’re out there spending more time than ever before in a back yard that has had most of the toys removed from the space, put away in the garage or the deck box until the sun comes back out for good, and it’s time to put a pool over that mud pit that’s dried up.
The clothes that they wore when they went out there have been turned into play clothes, as they’ve been washed four times and still have the telltale mud splatters, or signs of a good time, if you talk with a six year old.
The mud has been food for a tea party, it’s been slaw for a dragon and it’s been a bath for the barbies that were at the spa. It’s been a mountain, it’s been clay, it’s been lava and it’s been quicksand for Lego people.
Mostly though, it’s the sign of a spring day done right.
*edited, because balls deep seemed an inappropriate way to start off this feature