Muddy Face and Hands

Since it’s Portland, my daughter and I played in the park on a rainy day. Of course, she wanted to go on the slide and pick up chunks of mud to eat. I kept redirecting her to the mud puddles so she could jump jump splash splash instead.

Small puddle of raindrops collect on a children's slide

raindrops on a slide

Until parenting, I thought about mess as something to be avoided, unless I was on a job site or campsite, but even then I would take a breath before diving in.

A toddler doesn’t care about mess, not one little bit, and mud gets smeared all over my jacket and car seats. That’s her job, exploring the texture of the world.

My little scientist. She’s lives and breathes the scientific method.

My job is to keep her alive, and to keep a change of clothes and a snack in the car for when we are done.

Parenting is often portrayed as mundane. However, I counter, parenting allows us to be children again. It is a big beautiful world and little curiosities exist in everything, even handfuls of mud and drops of rain on a slide.