Thursday, February 23, 2017

Evidence Of A Day Well Played

Some of you may be aware that the West Coast has been slammed with heavier than normal rains, causing all manner of problems for our fellow left coasters to the south, but in these parts farther north we're set up for wading though these atmospheric rivers. 

It's part of our lifestyle and, indeed, once you've accepted the fact that you will be slightly damp from October through May, a process that takes several decades if you weren't born here, you can even sometimes be grateful for it.

We've certainly been grateful for the wet these past couple weeks. Not long ago, the adults turned up for a weekend work party at which one of our main missions was to relocate the sand that has eroded down to the lower level of our huge sandpit back to the upper level. 

The first thing the kids noticed when they returned to school the following Monday was the massive pile of sand at the top of the hill, but now that they've knocked that down a bit, the part of our shovel-and-wheelbarrow engineering project is the giant hole we left at the bottom.

Abetted by the rain, the children have been working our new cast iron pump (that's right, we finally purchased a new one after more than two decades) and shovels to create rivers that have fed a great lake, beginning the erosion cycle anew. 

If anyone knows how to play in a huge mud pit, it's kids from around here. They have the rain gear, although their boots are hardly high enough to avoid being overtopped and it would take more than a mere raincoat to keep it all out, but remember, these kids really don't know what it's like to not be slightly damp for eight months of the year.

I reckon a lot of schools, even ones around here, forbid the kids from splashing in the mud. 

In fact, I know from experience that a puddle like this one would be cause for caution tape barricades in most places and what a terrible waste of a genuine opportunity to meaningfully engage with the real world and the people we find there.

Some days, we're so covered in wet sand that adults stand by the door with brooms to sweep the children before they come inside. 

We sweep the floors and vacuum the rugs at least twice a day, often more, and still large quantities of our play ground go home each day with the children in their treads and cuffs and ears and hair, winding up in the carpeting of their cars and on their entry way floors. Indeed, the kids probably don't stop shedding sand until they finally taken their bath. The ring they leave in the tub is evidence of a day well played.

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