Today I posted over at Doing Good Together about how empowering a bit of messiness can be.
It’s no secret, I’m not an excessively tidy person. I mean, I’m not a slob, but I also nearly always have better things to do than clean.
Watching the kids respond to the little “invitations” I set out for them makes it clear, messy fun leads to some incredible creativity.
Above is the library the girls made this week. Check it out. They even added featured books, and a payment plan for overdue fees (um, sometimes we check out too many books)..Not pictured is their new fort, I mean, hole in the ground, literally. There is a gaping hole in the lawn, left over from a twenty foot tree we just moved. within a few weeks, that hole will be leveled, and the barn will rest in its place.
For now, it’s everyone’s favorite, muddy place to practice long jump, king of the mountain, and “hide from the bad guy robots.”
But the joy of mess-making isn’t only for children, as any gardener knows.
Tuesday was my day to get messy. I gave strict instructions to the kids, “stay outside, stay together, and play.” That I can issue such a command and know all three kids will be (mostly) safe and happy (enough) is a new and liberating feature in my life.
With the kids left to their own plans, I spent all day in the garden, still swampy from Monday’s rain, facing down my nemesis: a week’s worth of unruly weeds threatening to choke out my produce.
While the kids floundered, then fought, then ultimately lost themselves in an elaborate game of make believe, I liberated rows of beans, peas, potatoes, tomatoes, and chard, conquering crab grass and flinging muddy buckets of intruders over the fence. What a mess.
What a day.
This is the essence of summer.