Sunshine filled the yard; I ordered my boys to take advantage of such a beautiful day.
“Go play outside.”
The three of them went to practice their stunts on the trampoline. They raced the dog. They quickly went through their typical outdoor activities. They soared their bikes over the 5″ “mega ramp.”
It wasn’t long into their playtime that my 4-year-old’s shadow cast into the entry. He leaned in, one hand clinging to the door knob swinging in, the other, stable on the door frame.
“Can we play in the mud pit?!”
I looked at him, thinking only of the mess, carpet, laundry, thorough baths they’d require and said nothing…
“Can you say yes?” His sweet voice interrupted the cons list I was constructing.
“She said yes!” He bellowed back to the brothers that had sent the baby to do their bidding.
Cheers and squeals could be heard through the door he slammed in a hurry to get to the mud pit.
The ‘mud pit’ only being a bare spot in the lawn that the water hose could reach.
I returned to my chores in the kitchen but it wasn’t long before I abandoned the sink of dishes to see what all the noise was outside.
Quietly I went out the door and glimpsed around the house to catch who was antagonizing who.
A pile of clothes and shoes lay safely on the deck and beyond that I saw them playing. The noises weren’t any of pain or frustration. They were playing well together; laughing, squealing, cheering each other on to see who could sink their feet deepest into the pit.
Even taking shots at each other with mud balls only incited giggles.
I fetched my camera and capture these unabashed moments of their childhood. And sat to watch them for a while longer.
When it was time to come in for the night I hosed them off with the cold water straight from the hose. It was a condition of allowing their muddy play. They survived it, collected their clothes from the deck and went straight in for their turns in the shower.
No carpet was harmed, the washing machine wasn’t overloaded and evening showers were routine. Nothing was worse off for having said yes. In fact, I believe we were all better for it.