Joy in the mud

I didn’t expect to get such a spirited free spirit as my youngest daughter grew. But she was the one who always saw things her way.

For example, the dance in the mud puddle.

We didn’t get rain much on our hobby farm but this soaker had left several large puddles in the driveway.

So, of course, she needed to go outside and explore. Puddles, drizzle, thick cloudy skies… these things have to be experienced when you’re 4.

“Don’t get your clothes muddy,” I said as I zipped up her jacket and tightened her boots.

She scampered outside and I went back to folding laundry. I wished I was exploring with her.

But I knew she was having fun.

I didn’t know how much fun until I looked out the window. There was my lanky little girl, her arms raised high and her fingers pointing delicately toward the clouds, as she pirouetted in the muddy water of our driveway to an orchestra that only she could hear.

Stark naked.

I rushed outside with a big towel and she broke off from her ballet.

Her clothes were neatly folded at the edge of the puddle.

“You told me not to get muddy,” she said. “So I took them off.”

The answer a free spirit would give. I admired her imagination and quick-thinking obedience.  Her innocent joy in the rain captured my heart. Her upturned face touched me. I was moved by her exuberance.

But… naked is naked. She still had to come inside.

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