Back when I was a young child; Okay to some may not seem so long ago, being a young mother of three, I remember riding my bike out the front bare footed, landing on the torn up rubble on the side of the green.
Digging holes in the mud, big ones, lining them with black bags then fetching tiny fish from a near by lake with my cousins in a small bucket we’d once consumed from a trip to the sea-side.
Climbing trees (Getting a rollicking from one of the neighbors for disturbing nature, most probably, she loved her trees dearly) and tying a long line of heavy duty rope from which was most probably a perilous branch to swing and spending hours upon hours enjoying our surroundings outdoors.
You don’t see much of that anymore walking through greens and woods and even through estates. Nature is deemed unsafe and unsanitary. Children are cooped at home, not every child. I have also been guilty of this a lot!
“The interests of a child are of paramount importance” Dirt is precious. Even science has suggested that being too clean can impair the skin’s ability to heal itself. Mud and dirt can encourage a greater immune system, improve cognitive function, encourage creative thinking and most of all like my above statements of play, create great child-hood memories.
So why do we avoid it? Most of us will probably admit to the hate of mess, the idea of deep cleaning the children’s ears as well as the car, others with a fear of germs, perhaps an unclear understanding of the benefits they withold. But in all truthfulness this walk in particular was unplanned. We set out to find a few puddles to dip toes and trees to explore. One thing led to another and my parental co-ordinating of the children slowly disappeared for a short while.
Next there was splashing and sitting and attempted swimming. Passer Byers were joyous to see the children so happy. Wellingtons were drowned deep in thick muddy water and the little people had had the times of their lives.
AND surprisingly the car journey home wasn’t a ball ache either! Luckily we had two plastic bags in the boot to save the interior of the car from the stinking clothes, the kids stripped to their nuddies one wrapped in a towel meant for the dog (in case he got filthy, but was the cleanest of us all) one wrapped in a spare fleece jumper.. and straight into the tub when we walked through the door..
Next time you head out embrace the outdoors, grab a few bags. I’d advise a spare set of clothes and just enjoy what nature has provided for us.
You many find Robin on her Instagram at fortheloveofmothers