Pig Shoes and Lightning Shoes Bring Balance

My husband and I are musicians. And we’re parents. Our “backstage” experiences with our son (our little frog) deeply affect us and our music.

Spring is here in New England. Nearly ALL of the snow has melted, the crocuses are up and baby animals are being born. It is ON.

We celebrated the fine weekend weather with a trip to Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln, MA. Our son loved looking at the "puppies" (brand new kids in the goat field). We watched a momma sheep clean her newborn lamb. And we frolicked in the wood paths.

But the sun really came out for young Nigel when we came across tractor tire tracks. "Let's play in the MUD!!!" We weren't prepared with boots--in fact, Nige was wearing his beloved Lightning Shoes, which he did not want to 'spoil.' But we did have an extra pair of shoes in our bag. So we took off the dry socks and put the spare shoes on, rolled up the pants.

There was gleeful mucking in the mud with the 'Pig Shoes' for an hour. And then we used the last of our drinking water for a quick mud rinse, dried off wet little feet with our hands/jeans and changed Nigel back into his dry footwear.

This reminded me of my trek around Mt. Auburn cemetery (without a bag filled with kid gear). It was simple to make do and accommodate our kid's request to play in the mud. We ended the day running up and down the (steep! tiring!) lamb barn hill. And we all slept very, very well that night.

I am grateful for the season change. And I am mindful of the restorative power of getting outside right away,  of really building the habit and yen to be in the mud and in the woods right as it's warming up. When you've got a happy home set up with lots of engaging toys and great books, it can take time and effort to connect with the deep dirt.

So here's to balancing the intellectual/cultural interests and the indoor play with outdoor sojourns over the course of, say, a week. (i.e. EVERY DAY doesn't have to strike a perfect balance). Some days can be heavy on outside fun; and some days can be given over to involved indoor projects. A good reminder that our days are so profound and so very small picture, all at once!

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