There once was a time when I would have shuddered at the thought of my toddler playing in a slightly flooded flower pot full of muddy soil. However; today was the day I decided I would let that worry wash over me. The dirt under her finger nails, the wet muddy jumper and the flicked muddy splotches on the pavement… I let it all go, and if felt good!!
I have been wanting to move the rather large and super heavy ceramic pot to a place of less temptation. Every time we are outside, little hands find their way into soil. You know that thick black dirty dirty soil. The kind that just sticks to everything and gets right in under the finger nails leaving them looking dirty even after they’ve been washed. Of course those little dirty hands always find their way into that most scrumptious little mouth. All those teeny weeny germs (I don’t know, I assume there are bad things in there that shouldn’t be swallowed!!!) finding their way into my toddler’s tiny little stomach.
But there I was, looking at her little intrigued face after I had already asked her to take her hands out of the giant flower pot for the millionth time. She was completely fascinated by the way the wet soil moved through her fingers. The way the little puddle made funny sounds as the soil was dropped from up high. There she was completely immersed in this moment. Watching and learning, taking it all in.
Who was I to interrupt such a pure moment of in depth learning? As long as those fingers didn’t make their way into that cutie patootie mouth – why should I be all that worried? So often do we as parents worry about something that “might” happen. Although completely innocent to the dangers, we could really learn something from these little people. To let go of worry and to be in the moment taking in every detail.
After playing in the pot for a little while I watched closely trying to contain my inner worry wart, it was time to clean up. I always dread the clean up! Not sure why, maybe I over think it? I’ve been working hard to let go of my worry about the mess and clean up (particularly when it comes to sand and mud!). But it was actually quite simple. Off came the jumper, we went straight to the bathroom washed the hands, arms and finger nails, dried off and done! That’s it, no horror story of mud getting through the house or sand across the floor. It was not bad at all, in fact it was so simple!!!
I’m so glad that I have taken a step forward to let go of worry. My toddler is loving the freedom and is learning so much. She is becoming completely immersed in the world around her. She is more inquisitive than ever and I LOVE that! I never want that spark to leave her, so I will continue to fight that urge and to allow her to explore the messy world around her – with my supervision of course…
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