My mom’s parenting philosophy has always been this: Never miss an opportunity to have fun. If it didn’t hurt anything (permanently) and it was fun (and free) she would make it happen.
Nothing was ever too messy or too much trouble for my mom if it meant her kids having fun. The list of crazy things she would let us do (or think up for us to do) is endless, but one of the things I especially remember is that when it was too cold to go outside, she would bring snow inside in her big mixing bowls so that we could make little snowmen in the house.
I think the thing mom enjoyed most about her kids was the license to be a kid herself. I want to be that kind of mom.
So last week I took a page out of her parenting book and set up a mud muffin making factory for Sean in the backyard. He worked in the gentle morning sunshine mixing and stirring mud in his big metal washtub, perfecting his muffin recipie “in case a moose came by.” It wasn’t long before the clothes came off and he was clad only in mud, but there is precious little time in life when one can a) fit in a washtub and b) enjoy being unabashedly naked.
I sat in a lawn chair near the muffin factory employed as the chief taste-tester and company photographer while enjoying the intoxicating combination of sunshine, mud and a carefree little boy.
Maybe when he’s a grown man, he’ll remember the day that his crazy mom set him up in business making mud muffins in the backyard. Or maybe he’ll just remember that no matter the trouble or the mess, his mama never missed an opportunity to have fun.