I really can be an “indoor” kind of girl, though that has not always been the case. I grew up until the age of 14 in the Appalachian Mountains and spent many a day outside doing whatever. Even though that was a long time ago, that country girl comes out sometimes, accent and all. If there is one thing I truly miss about my childhood and the mountains, it is the lifestyle of spending sunny days digging in the dirt and playing in the streams. I have so many wonderful memories of those things.
So today, with the plentiful sunshine and a warm breeze I ask my 8 year old if he wanted to take a walk. He replied in a less enthusiastic manner, but off we went out the back door. We have a large amount of woods behind our home, and years ago we carved out a trail. I always love walking on a trail so much better than on a street. Well, we head off on our trail and in the back of our trail there is a large clearing where the land has been lumbered. In this clearing were several large puddles of water. Inspiration hit me, and being a home school mom I knew there was something to be learned.
I thought of all the times I loved playing in the streams and mud. So I told my son, let’s make a river and see how big we can make this one puddle. Well, now he replied with an enthusiastic “ yes”. We headed back to get a hoe and shovel as I explained how irrigation worked years ago. Well an hour later we had us a nice little river flowing from one puddle to the next and my son was super excited. We continued to play, splash, and build dams to make the water go from one place to another. At one point we built a dam and pooled a large amount of water before breaking the dam and watching the large stream flood into our small pond (now much too large to be called a puddle). It all felt so wonderful, the digging and work, the warm sun beating down on us, and most of all , the laughter from my child as he would slip in the mud or splash in our homemade stream. I enjoyed it as much as he did, as I basked in my memories of days gone by, and knew we were making new memories right in this moment. As he continued to come up with new ideas of how to make the water go in new directions and continued to have great fun playing in the mud, I stood there and just took in the moment. I am grateful for today. I am grateful for these moments that will become memories. I am grateful for my son. I am grateful for this time to spend with him. It made me think of how ungrateful I can be some days when life is pressing in on me and I am caught up in the hustle and bustle. It reminded me to be thankful for all the moments and small things in my life as well as the big things. I have much to be thankful for, and today I was so thankful for the sunshine, my kid and for mud.
At the end of all this as we were picking up our tools, my eight year old said “Mom, this was fun, we should do it more often. I said “you’re right”. I smiled as we headed back up our trail and thought how wonderful it is to be called “Mom” and how a little mud can make everything better.