“Why are your kids always

covered in mud?”

“Why are your kids always

covered in mud?”

Truth be told, I don’t even think twice about mud on myself or on my children anymore. 

I don’t wipe it off (until bath time). I don’t notice it on their faces in pictures. I don’t think of my kids as “those muddy kids.” But I’m realizing that a lot of people do. 
I don’t let them do it, because I love laundry. I don’t let them do it, because I like standing out. I don’t let them do it, because I’m lazy. I don’t let them do it, because I think kids should do whatever they want. 
Then why do I let them do it? 

Why do my kids always seem to be covered in mud?

I do it for their immune system—for the healthy bacteria it harbors that will slowly strengthen them. 
I do it for the invaluable tactile experiences it provides—the squish between their toes, the flaky cracking when it dries, the way it drips down from their hair to their cheek as it cools their face. 
I do it for the creative play it fosters—mud pies, mud soups, mud WHATEVER they can dream of. 
I do it for the worms, millipedes—the important yet tiny creatures that can be discovered. 
I do it for the experimentation it fosters—using their bodies, jabbing it with sticks, throwing rocks and watching them disappear, adding more water, attempting to make a shape, learning it can be used like glue. 
I do it for the natural, in the moment, self encountered lessons about earths incredible processes it provides—on the water cycle, on the seasons, on soil, on insects. 
I do it for their mental health—when research shows that nature soothes and relieves anxiety and depression and that contact with soil actually releases endorphins—their ain’t no way I’m keeping my kids away. 
I do it because its a huge part of nature. Nature was made for us and we were made to live in it. We are intricately connected and were meticulously designed to be together.

I do it for the future of our planet—because I know that it takes frequent, self directed, hands on experiences in nature to raise a generation who will deeply love this earth and make it a priority to care for it. 

Lastly, I do it for the sheer joy of it. For those silly, muddy grins on their happy healthy faces. 

So the real question is: 
Why aren’t yours?

– Emily of These Kids Are Wild