Summer brings dirt. I love dirt. I love dirt more than summer. Next to the barn, I've knocked down a weedy mess so I could plant a red climbing rose bush next to the old stone wall and the peeling window frame. My shovel slid through that dirt as if the ground was a chocolate cake. That's what a decade of decaying leaves will do for a little piece of Massachusetts: make it feel like a little bit of Iowa.
Some of the boys' school friends spent the afternoon at our house yesterday. They came freshly laundered; they went home a mess. Some of the happiest little messes ever. Between the sprinkler and the fort, jumping on the trampoline and crawling under the trampoline, they were summer's best. Streaked with sweat and water, covered in dirt, and exhausted. The only thing missing was the trace of watermelon juice running down their inner arms, creating a dried river bed contrasting the day's dirt adhesion with slightly cleaner skin created by the juice river.
"Why do I need to take a shower?" Because now I'm the Mom who washes the sheets. And I remember the days when my mom with four kids didn't always push the showers, but at least made us wash the river beds from our arms and the Iowa dirt from our feet.
Thanks, Mom, for letting us get dirty. I'm sure it built-up our immunity system and all that. But really, it was just wicked fun.
(Different places, different dirt...It's hard to beat rich, soft Black Dirt.)