Sunday, March 25, 2012

Finding Balance

After at least a solid week of wet, cold weather, including a little snow in town (notice snow on the distant hills still), we finally had a couple of nice days.  Isaac and I spent one of the lovely mornings at the park.

Of course, Isaac's favorite thing to do at the park is to play in the dirt.  And so begins my schooling in how to be a relaxed mom at peace with the fact that my baby boy is going to be dirty, A LOT.  With summer approaching, this day was good practice for me.  I had to let go a little and just let him be.  While he happily raked his fingers through the dirt and rocks, I cringed a lot and sometimes just had to look away (although briefly in case he tried swallowing one of his little treasures!).  I guess I haven't quite mastered my role as relaxed mom just yet.

Neither has Isaac mastered playing in the dirt.  He still occasionally thinks it's a good idea to taste the dirt or to chomp on a rock.  You might think that after multiple attempts at eating dirt and being sorely dissatisfied, one might not try again.  Oh, but he does and probably will continue to do so. So I guess we're both learning lessons in playing outside.  I think it will be a fine balance he and I will learn to strike over the years.  I will learn to embrace a little filth so as not to hinder play, and maybe he will learn when to stop (or at least how to clean up well enough) so as not to stress out mom.  Oh, what fun lies ahead!!

He did finally decide to try something other than playing in the dirt. 


He's a natural -- already practicing a pinch hold.

He instinctively knows to test the holds before relying on them.  Smart kid.

Offering gratitude for a morning well spent at the park!

 Evidence that I was actually there also.

We are anticipating a summer FULL of outdoor play.  Can't wait!!

Afterthought:  I realize this post might make it seem that I am afraid of dirty play.  Let me clarify. I love playing outdoors, getting sweaty and dirty. I love the feeling of being covered in grime at the end of a good long bike ride or climbing day.  There's no better play in my mind than the kind that leaves you craving a shower (and trust me, I can go a long time without one).  So, for myself, I enjoy a little filth.  For Isaac, it's not so easy to embrace because he doesn't yet know how to manage it.  He doesn't know he shouldn't suck his mud encased thumb or that the pretty velvety moss doesn't feel so nice in his mouth.  He might not take the time to wipe his feet before traipsing through the kitchen or to take off his dirty pants before snuggling up on the couch.  These are the things he and I will have to learn to compromise on--I'll probably have to forgive many messes, and hopefully he'll learn to at least attempt to be a little responsible with his dirt!