Let Them Eat Dirt!
Updated: Mar 19, 2022
A child lost in the simple wonders of nature
Many of us have been there. You know, that pretentious super judgmental place in motherhood, we usually pass by as new or expectant mothers.
"my child will never do xyz".
For me it was; eat sugary foods, watch tv and eat dirt. Although I am only on my first child...I am quickly realizing how ridiculous the whole notion is. When I decided to have a child, it was so I could pour love into another human being....it was certainly not so that I could control their every waking moment. At twenty-one months to the date, I've realized that the best part of being a mom is not in getting to decide what my child is or is not allowed to do, but in just watching them be...no matter how different it is from me.
Today I marvelled at my toddler who enjoyed her first day at an outdoor park since last summer. As a pandemic baby, there are already so many social engagements that we need to catch up on. Now throw in a good ole Canadian winter which is isolating enough on its own, and we have a recipe for sheer bewilderedness and discovery. Watching my almost two year old watching, what to her, might seem like the entire world jammed into one little playground was truly breathtaking.
At this park there were children three times her size, slides that were probably fifty times her height, overly zealous dogs and freezing cold mud puddles of unknown depths. To say that I was nervous would have been the understatement of the year.
Luckily for my girl, I was with my natural minded mamas who swear by letting kids be kids. As I pride myself on my hippie tendencies and commitment toward living a holistic lifestyle (yes, I know I know, pretentious) I am a little embarrassed to admit that I'm probably the more uptight one in our self proclaimed 'mama village', but I digress.
These natural minded mamas were a big factor in today's success, as they gave me the reassurance to just let go and embrace the idea that children are of nature and letting them interact with each other as well as nature is the very best we can do for them and their immune systems. So I literally sat back and watched my baby girl take the lead.
She ran up to big kids, kept her balance even when some rambunctious "you're it" participants sped past her. She maintained her cheeky smile and her loveable laugh even as her hands trembled from the cold after splashing in the frigid muddy waters that were likely frozen this morning. Seeing how she embraced every new experience no matter how scary or uncomfortable it was for her or myself made me realize that this is what it's all about. When she's my age, even if her memories of these moments are fuzzy....I know the emotions tied to the freedom to discover on her own accord will be strong and fundamental in pushing her towards finding her own passions, purpose and success in life.
So even when I watched her scoop up a handful of mud and put it in her mouth, I shrugged it off. My baby doesn't need to hear no from mama today. She needs to know that mama is always there helping her live out new experiences, watching her triumph over tricky obstacles, and yes, even expanding her pallet...with cold, hard, not yummy, but yummy enough that she went in for seconds....dirt.