There was a beautiful break in the winter weather for all of 3 days a couple of weeks ago. I’m talking 40 degrees, blue skies and sunny. Everything started to melt and it felt near tropical! Now, we are back to zero temps. Ick.
During the big melt there were puddles everywhere. Big, deep puddles just begging for the jumping! I loved jumping in puddles as a kid, but now as a mom all I can see is laundry, wet boots and someone’s going to cry because they are “too cold.” But, on this glorious day a friend’s words rang in my ear, “let your kids be kids for those who can’t. Let them jump in muddy puddles and make a mess!”
Last year my friend Gloria discovered a local charity created by a family who lost their little boy Ty to cancer. He was five years old and dreamt of jumping in puddles while he was stuck in bed. The Ty Louis Foundation http://www.superty.org/ has a wonderful way to raise funds for cancer research through The Muddy Puddles Project http://muddypuddlesproject.org/ . Each year the organization hosts a Mess Fest where children are encouraged to jump in the mud and make a mess. It turns out anyone can host a party in their town, or even in their back yard and all proceeds go directly to childhood cancer research.
After finding this charity my friend immediately held a mess fest in her back yard. She literally flooded a spot in her yard and made a giant mud pit where the kids were encouraged to jump in. Afterwards everyone made giant messy sundaes. It was easy to see how much fun the kids had stomping in the mud with permission. It was also easy to see every mom cringe when they saw the amount of mud they had to clean up.
When I saw our street lined in puddles last week, I knew I had to dig deep into my ‘whatever’ philosophy to get passed the sight of dirty laundry and muddy shoes and just let my kids go have some fun. So, I dressed them in their snow boots, new rain coats and said, “Let’s go find some puddles to jump in!” The joy on their faces was beyond precious and the memories we made together was worth more than my worries of wet socks. (And, no one cried!)
I am learning that the messiness of childhood doesn’t last forever, but the memories those messy moments make will last a life time! No one has ever said, “remember that time we kept our house spotless? Yeah, that was fun!”
Spring time is the PERFECT time to host a Mess Fest of your own! To find out how visit: http://muddypuddlesproject.org/be-part-of-the-project/
To learn how to let go of the worry of making a mess, repeat after me: “What.Ever.” The dirt will all wash away, but the memories will remain!