On Not Staying Clean

September 9, 2011 at 5:29 am (Out in Nature, Play Time)

It doesn’t bother me if my kids get dirty.  I don’t even try to “save” clothes with spot treatments and stain removers.  I just buy cheap clothes.

Childhood is too short to permeate it with warnings of staying clean and instructions to get up off the ground so you don’t ruin your clothes.

Get dirty.  Play on the ground.  Roll on the floor.  Skate in your socks.  Jump in the puddles.

Elia, JJ and I went on a walk by the creek the other day, and while there was a path, of course my kids did not stay on it.  There was certainly more adventure to be had in the creek and across the other side.

Oh well.  If there’s a time for this kind of thing, it’s childhood, right?  You’ll notice there are no pictures of my own muddy feet & clothes.  Once we exit childhood, we grown-ups seem to want to stay out of the mud.  Not just because our clothes are more expensive.  We get old; we prefer the path.

So if my kids want to go off the provided, structured path, I’m OK with that.  And if that means getting coated in mud, so be it.  Clothes are replaceable, childhood is not.


  1. JenH said,

    I do hereby solemnly swear to get better at making room for dirt! Man, this is a hard one for me, but you have inspired me! We’re off to explore a mud puddle!

  2. jboring said,

    We have a great community of people that kids clothes just rotate through which is awesome because (aside from meaning I rarely have to buy any clothes for my kids) it means I don’t feel bad when their craziness ruins an item of clothing because I know that item has already been through 3 or more other children. It lived a long and productive life and letting it die isn’t as guilt inducing as it would be if it were new… or even new-ish.

    And P.S. I’m an adult and still get in the mud. 🙂 Not as much as the little monsters do admittedly, but I guarentee you it is possible to still get off the path.

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