Summer’s coming! And for a stay at home, work-at-home mom, the prospect of keeping the munchkin busy all day every day for several months while simultaneously working from my computer is a daunting one indeed. But while I work on the prospect of signing up for a little bit of summer day camps and a few hours of daycare each day, I have to remember to make some really good memories. And sometimes, the quickest way to make a good memory…is to make a good MESS.
A long long time ago on the blog, I wrote about making beautiful messes. When I was a kid, I loved to make a mess, and I wasn’t afraid of things like dirt, muddy clothes, or bug guts. But somehow, in the process of growing up, instead of being carefree and fun, a roll in the grass now makes me fret about grass stains, spiders, and where the dogs may have peed. But how is our daughter supposed to know what it’s like to squish mud between her toes and all that stuff…if I never let her do it?
And honestly, can’t all that stuff be washed away, for the most part? I mean, what’s the worst that can happen, really? When I was in the army, we would get disgustingly gross, sweaty and muddy and horrible-smelling and sore, and I think the fact that you are so disgustingly messy beforehand made you feel SOOOO GOOD when you got all cleaned up.
As a mom, when I find myself being resistant to something the kid wants to do, I try to ask myself if I’m saying no for a good reason, or just because it makes me uncomfortable. If it’s just that it makes me uncomfortable, it might be something I actually SHOULD do.
So a recent trip to our local library has unearthed my sister’s favorite book series and our newest book obsession: The Magic Schoolbus. Along with being EXTREMELY educational and fun for me to read to Myla in a way that can grow with her (there is the main story about going on crazy adventures and exploring things like the human body, insects, sea life, etc, and then additional more detailed information along the sides in cute “side notes”), the crazy teacher’s motto has reiterated an idea that has been a key thing I’ve learned from becoming a parent: to “Take chances, make mistakes, GET MESSY!!!”
If you’re someone who gets the oogies about messes, there are easy stress-free ways to get messy, and the key is to GET PREPARED! Use washable paints, wear sloppy clothes or an apron. Put down a table cloth and have towels on hand for when you’re done. Have the washer on standby and have a set of clean clothes waiting by a readied bathtub.
And don’t forget to JOIN IN! Don’t just be a spectator. It’ll be good for you to get out of your comfort zone–believe me!
Most important of all, though: don’t take anything too seriously! Get out there and challenge yourself to make all kinds of messes with your kids, with your family, with your friends. You can do it! And when you DO, don’t forget to take some pictures, and share them with me on Facebook. I’d love to see ’em!