Thursday, July 08, 2010

Pure joy

Last night Amy was in a schooling show at the barn where she takes riding lessons. Her trainer, Kate, graciously allowed Amy to ride her horse in four events, and if I were allowed to talk about it I might say she did well.  She rode beautifully.  But since Amy said I couldn’t talk about the evening I’ll just move along.

(Really wish I hadn't made that deal with her a few months back that I wouldn't write about her without her permission.  You have no idea the great stories I have to shelve.)

As I sat watching the show in the dadgum scorching heat (hello, this is Michigan – what’s with the 95 degrees?) I noticed a little girl playing a few yards away from me. Her mom was riding in the show and her grandparents were there to watch her. For the entire two hours this little girl played in the dirt. She dug her hands around in it, rolled her whole body in it, scooped it up and threw it in the air. I watched as her shirt, which started out a lovely lavender, turned dusty brown. Her face went from spotless to dirt-streaked. I could only wonder what world she thought she was discovering. There was never a more perfect toy.

The most amazing part of the scene was that the grandparents and the mother let the little girl enjoy the dirt. Heck, this kid wasn’t simply enjoying it; she was reveling in it! No one looked at her and said, “Oh, you’re so dirty! Get up!” Or, “You’re a mess!” They actually enjoyed watching her play. They enjoyed her being a kid.

If that had been one of my kids I'm sure I would have wanted to let them play but the whole time I would have been thinking, "Gross!  You need a bath!"  And I'm sure those thoughts would have colored my words to them.  But not these folks.  Their only comments to her were to watch out for the cars and horses.  They seemed completely oblivious to the fact that their little girl was covered in dirt and would require a serious hose-off before entering a car.  If that had been Michael, Amy or Rebecca, Sean would have made them either shower before entering the vehicle or sit on towels, newspapers, anything except the actual car seat.

Those folks must be the most well-adjusted family ever.

Watching that mother enjoy her daughter playing was a good reminder to not sweat the small stuff.  I hope I can remember it the next time someone wants to do something not exactly neat and tidy.

I'll still probably keep some wet wipes handy, though.  

So adorable!