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Dirty, stinky, rotten, bruised kids

in Life Lessons, Parenting, Random Musings

muddy shoesSeveral times over the last few days I’ve realized that my kids stink. I’m not talking about in attitude, I mean in the kind of B.O. and foot odor that make me roll down the truck windows in the middle of a Texas summer. But you know what? I love it.

On Saturday we went to my sister-in-law’s house for dinner and backyard baseball. My three built a dirt path for their Hot Wheels complete with a hand-dug lake for them to jump over.

An hour into their playtime I was informed that my kids were getting a little muddy and where most moms would fuss about their lack of a change of clothes, I smiled.

Before long, my oldest fell off the top of a fence and bruised her side, my youngest had scrapes up his legs from climbing a tree in his shorts, a couple of kids were being drug across the yard by a big dog on a leash, and my middle child was glistening with sweat from running the bases with all of his heart.

Right before the kids passed out in the backseat on the 2-hour drive home, shoes were thrown on the floorboard and the truck wreaked immediately. Once I found the culprit, I locked the shoes inside the bag and disguised the feet themselves with some fresh air. As disgusting as it was, I have to admit that it reminded me of how awesome the day was.

And sticker burrs too…

Then yesterday we went on a hike in a local park, fed the ducks, and searched the woods for a Geocache. My kids and I were covered with fuzzy burrs from some allergy-inducing bush, and I won’t be surprised if morning’s light reveals a new round of red bug bites. The kids fussed for a minute but they quickly remembered back to some of our wilderness experiences while camping, and they knew that precise moment was another story-in-the-making.

Bruises and scratches are badges of honor

I look at scars, bruises and scrapes the same way I do sweaty feet at the end of a big day–they evidence that you did something today. My daughter used to come home from school upset about every scratch. She believed they evidenced her clumsiness.  While I often feel like an elephant on ice myself, I also know that no one has ever gotten bruised knees from sitting in front of the TV. Every scrape and bruise has a story behind it! Odor comes from building memories.

Granted too much body odor is a problem, but I think we as a society have gotten our kids so caught up in cleanliness and germ prevention that we’ve forgotten just how fun it is to splash in a river or make mud pies.

When was the last time you had a good, messy, smelly, yucky good time?


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