We decided to have a picnic dinner the other night.
We found ourselves at a park we hadn’t visited in a while. A couple years ago, it was the same park we went to everyday after school. We caught our trolley ride home from there each day.
This park has a little creek running through it. The water levels vary throughout the year and sometimes it is bone dry.
On this particular evening, the creek water went up to the kids knees and waist.
They started out jumping from rock to rock, trying to avoid the water.
When their feet went in the water, they climbed out of the creek to show us.
“Our shoes accidentally got wet!” There was a hint of concern in their voices.
“That is fine,” we said. “You can play in the water all you want. We don’t care if you get wet.”
They squealed with delight and jumped in the creek.
Total freedom to be kids and get dirty. My daughter even took her muddy hand and slapped a handprint on her dress at one point.
Then Kevin asked the rhetorical question, “What are the shoes for, if not for this?”
They are meant for play. For getting dirty. For climbing trees. For wearing out.
We had the kids sit on life jackets from the trunk on the way home to keep the seats dry.
Then we carefully transferred their dirty clothes and shoes to the patio and them to the showers.
The shoes took a good three days to dry, and another couple to shake all the dirt and debris off.
But it was so worth it too see them play free.