Let Your Child Play In the Dirt; It’s Good for Em’!
My daughter and I recently took a trip down to Tennessee to visit my father’s retirement settling, also known as “Grandpa’s Farm“. My dad actually drove the two of us and his wife down for a week. Among the great conversation, delicious food and wine, phenomenal scenery, and the soothing sounds of nature, was my favorite memory, watching my kid get dirty.
From the moment we set foot in the dirty, rocky driveway, my sweet two-year old went nuts with digging, moving rocks, splashing water and catching anything that moved. She rejected the garden gloves my parents bought her and refused to listen to any caution I gave her. “Please be careful on the rocks” instantly turned into her tumbling over them. “Watch out for the dog leash” resulted in her tripping over it immediately.
It was hard for me at first because I didn’t want to see her get hurt or have the repsonsibility of cleaning her up, which down there means needing to do a thorough tick check too. After watching how much fun she was having, and seeing her discover new things, learning new lessons, and growing right in front of my face, I let her get dirty.
I put my child in her oldest, most stained clothing and let her go wild. She got wet, muddy, covered in ants, had grass in her diaper and was extremely stinky. I didn’t mind though. The smile on her face let me know that I did the right thing. She slept like an angel that night.
I will always have a load of laundry at the end of the day. It only means we had a great day.