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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jumping in Mud Puddles & Jumping off Bridges

When I was a little girl, jumping in mud puddles, was one of my most favorite things to do. Growing up on a busy farm kept all of us quite busy, especially in the summer time when there was constant work to be done. Often times the only time we had respite from the work was when it rained.

When it rained during the day, it was an opportunity to run through the rain to cool off. When your hot and sweaty nothing feels better then a cool rain as it hits your face and body. It started with dancing in the rain but if it rained enough, this meant running and jumping over puddles. Which of course led to jumping in the puddles. Which naturally led to riding our bicycles through them. Of course all of this led to being covered in mud because it was only a matter of time before we were jumping in the mud puddles and throwing it at each other. Oh the unbridled joy of mud slinging at my brothers, while squealing with excitement as I dodged a handful of mud that flew by my face!

Oh to be young and feel so free as we danced in the rain and played in the mud. We welcomed this break from the work and heat with such excitement and laughter. We welcomed this opportunity to just be kids for the moment…to have this time to just play. We knew it was just a matter of time before we would be sprayed down with cold water from the garden hose and put back to work once again.

Some of our fields were on the other side of a river, so after working much of the day in the heat, on one of those fields, we would have the opportunity to quickly get off the tractor or hay rack and run to the river. Most of the time, due to the kind of work we were doing, in spite of the summer heat, we had to wear long pants and shirts out in the field. We could hardly wait to escape these warm clothes…to wash off the sweat. Often times I wore my swimsuit underneath my clothes in anticipation of this opportunity, so as soon as we were on our way back home, I would start taking off my clothes. Swimsuit or not, a chance to cool off in the river would not be passed up. What a sight we must have been as we jumped from the hayrack and ran down that gravel road towards the bridge.

We barely missed a beat as we reached the bridge, climbed up and jumped into the cold river water. I remember how I screamed with wild abandonment as my feet flew in the air, off that bridge, knowing how the shock of the cold water would feel the instant I hit the water…how I screamed yet again as I welcomed the coolness to my hot sweaty body…how it felt like heaven…how I just wanted to stay there in the water yet knowing this was a short lived moment of respite. We knew how to time it just right so that we weren’t left to walk all the way home. It wasn’t long before we were jumping out of the water, running down the hot gravel road, to catch up with the moving tractor, that would not wait for us.
 
These are some of the fond memories that summer evokes in me. There is something about getting dirty or wet when you’re a kid. There is something about playing so hard and with such imagination that all else is forgotten. It speaks of fun and adventure…of letting go and being so caught up in enjoying the moment that you are clueless to how dirty you are getting…whether it be sand, dirt or mud…ice cream, spaghetti or chocolate, paint or sidewalk chalk. There is nothing like feeling wild abandonment for something that is so innocent yet feels so good, whether that be jumping off bridges or jumping in mud puddles.

Today, we have an unplanned day home from work. Today, we are having a free day. I am letting my little people play with wild abandonment today. No rules, restrictions or of what we have to do next(all within reason and safety of course). I have stepped back and let them just “be”. They are free. It almost comes as no surprise that there has not been one single fight. Their squeals of excitement and laughter can be heard through out the house.

They have been playing outside in dirt, mud and water because it rained during the night last night. They are filthy dirty. Their faces are covered with the pizza from the picnic they had upon a great ship of their invention. When I am done writing here, I think an ice cream cone will add nicely to the mess upon their faces, don't you think?

I can hear the excitement in their little voices as they talk back and forth, as they go from one adventure to another. They have dug for treasures. Our yard is filled with lions, tigers, bears and monkeys that must be tended to. Besides the dirt and sand, sticks, leaves, rocks, empty boxes and containers are the tools of their play.

They are so caught up in their imaginations and adventures that I don’t have the heart to make them stop to take a nap. So I won’t. Not today. Today is their day. Today is their day for making memories. Today I will not interrupt their fun.

It looks like rain again, which we will welcome as it is much needed. If we are lucky, it will rain, so that they can experience the delight of running and dancing in it. If we are lucky, it will rain, and I will join them, to show them, how it’s done. And if we’re really lucky, we will have a mud puddle or two, that need jumping in!

26 comments:

Jan said...

Oh, Lori - this is GREAT. I love it!

I'm glad you and your Little People are having such a fun day. Bring on the ice cream!!

LPC said...

Oh the pictures I see.

queenofphrump said...

yup. I need another one.

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is so wonderful...you described the part of childhood that is so wonderful, having fun with no inhibitions. Let them run. Let them get dirty. It is good for the soul. (yours too!)

Beth said...

I want to come join you guys! Mud squishing between toes and splashing sounds fun, fun, fun.

Brittany said...

This post made me tear up... Not because its sad, but becaue I Just wish me and My little man were there to enjoy it too! I wish Aidyn was getting dirty and having adventures with his cousins! We miss you guys so much! I love your post mom! We'll call later today!

MUA

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Ah, young and free. This post made me happy, I could feel the letting go.

Bogey said...

Beautiful Lori, just beautiful! It was so nice to feel the smile in your fingertips as I read your words. It is always nice to capture such memories. You never know when you will need to go back and re-visit to remind yourself that life wasn't all bad. Thank you for the smiles Lori!

I have a little somthing waiting for you on my blog. Come and get it if you want!

Lover of Life said...

That was a great trip back to childhood. Thanks for the ride.

SciFi Dad said...

Great post.

nothingfancy1 said...

Yay! Let go! Be Free! Have Fun!

Great post!

Debbie said...

Good for you! What great memories you are allowing them to create today. And all it will cost is a bath:)

The Incredible Woody said...

Aww - what a wonderful, wonderful day! And yes, an ice cream cone sounds perfect!

Smart Mouth Broad said...

What great fun! Makes me wish it would rain!

Tricia said...

I love this kind of a day. I can just picture the delight and smile son your little people's faces. How wonderful. I need to do more of this too.

♥ Braja said...

The heat and smell of summer brings back so many memories for me too... loved this post, girl :)
xx

Snow White said...

What a fabulous post! I think a free day is great for the imagination. I've noticed in my 6th graders a SEVERE lack of imagination in most of them- hopefully I fixed that, and created a dreamer or two!!

Bina said...

I LOVE this post! I remember being little and playing in the rain and mud, riding bikes through the puddles flinging mud everywhere, baking mud pies, climbing trees as high as we could.

I'm so glad you let your kids do this! People always thought I was crazy because my boys were always in trees. When did people stop climbing trees anyway? It's so much fun!

Life with Kaishon said...

This sounds like a perfectly fantastic day! : ) Perfectly fantastic.

Laura said...

Lori, sounds like some kind of real birthday celebration. The day to be. The day to create memories that will tingle on the skin for a lifetime. Thank you for them.

Kathryn Magendie said...

We'd splash all that muddy water on our backs and legs riding our bikes in the mud! And we'd have "rain fights" - in the rain we'd have towels and when the towels were wet, we'd slap each other with them -running and hooping in the rain like the heathens we were!!!

steppinthru said...

You brought back so many memories of summers on my grandparents farm. My grandmother would let us just play with abandon and sometimes we didn't even have to bathe in the evening, just hop into bed. Everyone needs a day or two to just play. Thanks for the great post, Lori.

kristi said...

I always let my son do this too..I actually DIRECT him to rain puddles!

Mama Kat said...

Your family is so beautiful!

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