|Aiden. Dirty feet. From playing outside. Barefoot. LOVE. |
(Photo taken August 2011.)
I read that a few years ago, and it stuck with me because that's how I feel. Kids should smell like that because they should be out playing in the dirt and sunshine, getting sweaty, being kids. Doesn't dirt, sunshine, and sweat equal happiness??
The other day Aiden had been out playing for a while. We came in, and I took him upstairs to change his diaper. Normally shoes come off the second you come in the house (there are some things outside that shoes pick up that I do not want on my carpet, where my children play while inside - seriously), but I had carried him in and up the stairs, so he still had on his crocs when I put him on the changing table. When I took them off, there were all these little bits of grass and dirt on his feet. I just love that. Now, when he takes off his crocs and has stuff like that on his feet, he gets all "get it off!" (I think he gets this from his Daddy...) and takes time to pick each and every tiny piece off. It is cute and funny to watch him. That child doesn't like to get dirty. But as I was taking off his crocs and saw his dirty little feet, cute as they could be, I couldn't help but think of the quote above and smile.
I'm not that parent who doesn't want their children to go out and get dirty. Yes, play in the sand. Yes, sit on the chalk drawing you just drew (and get chalk on your clothes). Yes, help with the gardening and make more of a mess than is necessary (or I would make doing it all myself), getting dirt all over the sidewalk, yourself, and probably me, too. Yes, PLAY. If a little dirt gets dragged in the house when you come in (but please do remember to take off your shoes at the door!), we can sweep it up. If water droplets come in, as well, we have towels.
Now, if you're sweaty...while I might think kids should run around, play hard, and get sweaty...that doesn't mean I want you to come in and hug all over me, sharing said sweat. No thanks. (I kind of think it's gross to get it *on* me. I can hear Ryan laughing at me already. Apparently I think everything is gross, while he thinks none of it is. Of course, I also don't mind the messes that come with kids and outdoor activities, while he wants things a bit - or a lot - cleaner. Some of that kind of seems backward, doesn't it? Haha!) And I don't want you leaving your soccer socks on the stairs after you just came home from a game and they are filthy - it's not that hard to take them up the steps with you (you were going anyway!) and put them in the laundry basket, right?
I do love seeing those little toddler feet with sand and dirt and grass on them. I love seeing my too-close-to-being-a-teenage boy come in with red cheeks and sweaty hair sticking to his forehead, soccer ball under his arm, asking for his water bottle. It makes me happy. It reminds me that they're kids...being kids.