I Believe: Let Your Kids Get Dirty


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You know what sentence has never come out of my mouth?  ”ohhhh look…isn’t this worm CUTE!??!!”

Cute?  A worm? Ummmm…. no.

Kittens are cute.  Baby Pandas at the Zoo are cute.  Bunnies are cute.  Squirrels are a stretch.  And most definitely? Worms are not.  This is also true for reptiles. And sharks. Just. Not. Cute.

But my 7 year old daughter… hands chocolate colored, nails as black as a coal miner from digging in the mud…. well, she seems to think so.  And even though my first instinct is to say, “put it DOWN!”, nose appropriately scrunched up as I step back quickly in case she suddenly decides to toss it, (Wait… I’m sorry, is my ‘California Girl’ showing? ) for her sake, I smile and listen to every detail she has to share.

My job as a mom isn’t to raise children to be just like me, but to raise small people to turn into big people who are their very own people.  I want them to think for themselves, to make their own decisions, to choose their own likes and dislikes.  Does it seem like a stretch to see all of this in one friendly worm?  I don’t think so.  Because the alternative, the ‘me’ in this day’s mothering, wanted to tell her to leave the worm alone and wash her hands – that is what I WOULD HAVE DONE.  But I’m not trying to grow another version of me.

I’m growing a Delaney. And she is glorious.  And dirty.  And she thinks worms are cute.

And I’m growing a Cooper. He is inquisitive.  And definitely dirty.  And wants to be anywhere his big sister is standing.

I believe in letting my kids get dirty.

I want them to know the joy of a mother who encourages their curiousity, willingly participates in their flights of fancy, loves their imagination and isn’t afraid of a little worm.