Monday, January 6, 2014

mudskipper

We had a weird warm up today, the 7 foot snowman we built yesterday was relegated to a pile of snow a little bigger than a bowling ball this morning. As a result it's muddy. REAL muddy. After school I was in the house, trying to get ahead of the daily clean up/organizing that gets so out of control so fast when, through the window, I saw Finn, boots deep in mud, crouched down, hat discarded in a sloppy puddle and really looking like this was the beginning of something really catastrophically filthy. Without thinking I rapped my fist on the window, hard, ready to give him my most disapproving look. He didn't hear me. I went to the next window, did it again, but again he didn't hear me. Or, let's face it, he was probably ignoring me. 

Then I stopped to think. I saw his smiling face. A vivid childhood fantasy came rushing back to me. As a kid I thought it would be the greatest thing ever to jump into a neck deep pile of mud. I thought about it a LOT. It was like #1 on my list of best-things-that-could-possibly-happen-in-a-fantasy-world. I think it may have originated in my favorite baby book A Hole Is To Dig

I stopped trying to get his attention at the window and waited for him to come in. He opened the door and saw me see his hands, boots, jacket and pants all covered in mud. He looked ready for my scolding. Instead I said, "You call that dirty? I want you to get back out there and not come back in until you're REALLY covered." He looked at me astonished and then started to push past me into the house, too confused I think to even answer. "No, I'm serious." I continued, "I dare you to go out there in your undies and belly flop right in that mud." His eyes grew wide. He searched my face for signs of mental breakdown. "REALLY?" he said.

"Really."  

 

Of course, afterwards being covered in cold mud did not seem like much fun and he got real angry and upset and said that that was the worst idea I ever had. I told him I was making dreams come true. Still scowling he let me clean him up in a warm tub and then I told him to quit whining and go play some video games. That kid doesn't know how good he has it.