Mud and a Moment of Levity


I’m pretty sure my sons love mud. I mean LOVE mud. Really anything dirty and equally as distinctive as the brown slime after a rainstorm. Case in point, they all had the stomach bug this weekend, and I won’t even begin to disgust you by relaying the gleeful conversations they had about that! 

At one point, however, after a day of lying low and recovering, they started to feel better and they begged and begged to go outside. “Please mama, can we play outside? Please!” I looked at our backyard  and remembered that just the day before it had been flooded by the second massive rainstorm in a week. “Ugh,” I groaned internally, “it’s gonna be so messy.” But, in the end, I relented because we had all been cooped up in sickness too long already.

Upon being released into the wild of the outdoors, they emitted primal screams of delight as they disappeared into the yard. At one point, from his own sick bed on the couch, my husband asked “do you hear them?” They were suddenly awfully quiet. I couldn’t hear them, but I could see them working on something from my chair indoors. “I’ll go see what they are up to” I said as I wandered to the back door. When I opened it, I noticed what they had been so earnestly working on. They had scooped handful after handful of fresh mud from underneath the play set, held each scoop gingerly in one hand as they maneuvered the stairs to the top, and then smashed each one with full force onto both of the slides. They must have done this quite a few times because there was a dark, gummy trail down the slide I could see from the door. “Stop that, boys! You are making such a HUGE mess!” I yelled. Despite my tone, only one acknowledged he actually heard me. “Okay mama, I won’t do it anymore” he yelled back as he tossed his handful of mud back down the stairs. Meanwhile the other two slid down on their bottoms through the freshly mudded slides.

I paused for a moment considering what to do. Then, I found myself sighing again and slowly walking back inside and closing the door.

Here’s the thing. Yes, they made a super muddy mess that later took a half a bottle of soap and some concentrated scrubbing to get off their tiny little bodies. At the same time, however, they introduced such light and humor into what, for me, felt like a super-challenging few days. I hate the stomach bug, after all, whether it’s me or them – I hate it. Not to mention we had no internet and I have already missed so much of work due to last week’s storm. Times like these make me super stressed and…. grumpy. But these little boys making their mud pies and mud slides added a layer of levity I couldn’t help but get swept into.

They remind me once again that life is bigger than the daily details.

May God bless us all today with joyful and muddy moments to remind us that life is not always as serious as we would like it to be!

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