Let's get dirty...

Hey guys! I'm over at Reedman Toll Auto World today, talking about some great places to take a road trip to! Pile into the car and check out the Elmwood Park Zoo! Just click HERE to check it out!

When PJ was an infant, I was a crazed psycho helicopter mama a little over-protective. PJ was my first, my only, my brand-new little piece of joy and it felt like that much joy must be a breakable thing.

Because of that, I flinched any time someone breathed too close to him, or when he shoved things that were decidedly NOT edible into his mouth. Gross. I feared scrapes on his pale baby skin and anything that might dull the bright blond cloud of his hair. I felt the need to protect him from every little germ or fleck of dirt. 

Fast forward a few years, and am in a place that has let me learn some lessons. I can relax a little bit and enjoy motherhood as PJ’s mom, versus my original methods acting as a general in a battle of germ warfare. This means that if the situation warrants it, PJ can get as dirty as he wants, and his propensity for filth is astounding- PJ could get dirty in a bridal salon. But the germs haven't killed him yet, and it makes letting go a little easier. PJ can jump in the occasional puddle, and he can surf the occasional wave. He can dig his fingers into a mud pie, or he can splay his fingers in to a high vee on stage with his cheer leading team. It seems like the dirtier PJ get, the more opportunities for growth appear, and I can only assume it's because as his mom, I finally just shrugged and said "Pffft. Get dirty. Whatever." 

A few weeks ago, PJ and a classmate had a late summer play date. We met at the playground and watched the kids swing and run and soak in the lovely morning. They circled a puddle much the same way the Earth circles the sun- powerless to its gravitational pull. Finally, the mamas said "Pffft. Get dirty. Whatever." Magic words as my sweet boy and his beautiful friend made imaginary potions, giggling and smiling. 

Of course, I fear that our “let the dirt in” attitude could be a challenge come puberty, and I feel like I should apologize in advance to his future life partners about any off roading, surfing, ditch digging, gardening, mud runs, insert dirty activity here that he might have an interest in. I am deeply sorry for the laundry this will cause. But maybe, just maybe, if PJ has babies of his own someday, they will learn the same lessons, and he will remember when I was learning mine.  Letting the dirt in means letting joy out, and it can be worth the risks. Right now it’s my job to be brave enough to let go. Later it will be PJ’s job, and I hope to set the right example.

PJ and a sweet school buddy enjoying a mud puddle during one of the last days of summer vacation. 

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