Letting him eat dirt

Spotless. Pristine. Bored.

These are not words I use to describe my son.

Messy. Dirty. Inquisitive.

These are the ones I am more apt to employ. Never have they been more justified then yesterday. We moved azaleas from my grandmother’s house to our front yard. They will get the sun they need, and the front of our house will get some much needed change. Moving bushes means digging holes. Holes mean piles of dirt.

It is a special day in a child’s life when he discovers the pleasure of dirt. It squishes. It can be piled and dumped. It can go back in and then come out again. We could have trapped him in his playpen, but then he would have missed these important discoveries. We both watched him crawl around the grass and make new friends with the neighbors and their dogs. We looked on as he pulled down pots of dirt and cruised toward piles. And neither of us moved fast enough when he put a handful of it in his mouth.

We told him no, and he went back to playing. Then he did it again because he’s still a baby. Eventually, we took our slightly muddy boy with dirt caked under his nails and streaks on his face inside for dinner.

Perfect. I suppose that’s the other word I use.

Published by Caroline Mitchell Carrico

I am a writer, mom, and museum enthusiast in Memphis. Also a fan of reading all the words, cooking all the vegetables, and watching all my kids' soccer games.

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