Mud (and New Arrivals).

A couple of weeks ago, my sister-in-law, Amy, was busy at the hospital bringing forth another nephew for me to love, and while we waited for the good news, we were living it up at my mom and dad’s house in the country, cousin style.

Mom and I have decided over the years that it is much easier to team up than to go it alone. Whether you are having a dinner party, or deep-cleaning your house, or keeping watch over a houseful of kids, two REALLY are better than one.

I could have kept my four kids at my house, alone, while she kept her four grandkids at her house, alone, and we could have talked to each other on the phone periodically, swapping stories about how bored the kids were and about how they were asking every five minutes when they were going to get to play with their cousins…

OR we could spend every waking moment together, sitting on the back porch, sipping coffee, while eight happy, nature-loving kiddos crawled, toddled, walked, ran, climbed, jumped and skipped all about us.

In fact, when this group of cousins are together, we hardly even SEE them – they speak their own cousin language, the fights are very few and very far between, and they play their little HEARTS out, from morning till night – leaving us to merely hold down the fort and brace ourselves for feeding and bathing time, because, as you well know, the payback for letting kids play hard all day is that they are hungry…nay, starving…and dirty…nay, filthy…by the end of the day.

And sometimes they’re REALLY filthy.

During the baby’s nap time, the littlest of the bunch disappeared to the front porch for a spell, and five minutes later when we went to check on them and make sure all was well, we discovered this…

IMG_7247

What can you do when you find a mess like this but to just let them GO for it? Their cleanliness was already beyond preserving, they were completely thrilled and occupied and we had a pot of coffee that needed drinking, so…

IMG_7250

we gave them a good scolding, we warned all the other children not to go NEAR that mess and we left them to it.

2-year old Abel, 3-year old Betsie and 5-year old Kate had the time of their life while the others seethed with jealousy that they hadn’t stumbled upon this muddy fun. But we had a new baby to meet that evening, and there was NO WAY we were going to administer eight post-mud baths before then.

IMG_7256

And every time I checked on their progress…

IMG_7260

they were a bit dirtier…

IMG_7275

and dirtier…

IMG_7281

and dirtier…

IMG_7298

and DIRTIER.

IMG_7302

IMG_7303

And the porch? Lord, have mercy.

IMG_7308

IMG_7315

But there are few things as precious in this life as children who are free at play.

IMG_7333

They can make the biggest, most colossal messes…

IMG_7338

IMG_7343

but they’re so stinkin’ cute while they’re doing it.

IMG_7351

p.s. I totally left the cleaning of this ear to my mom. This was one of her kids for the week, after all, not mine. 😉

IMG_7360

And, in the meantime, Amy made us this:

IMG_7367

Welcome to our world, baby Jude. Can’t wait until you’re joining us in the mud.

10712792_10152884422528254_3319296615337078764_n

5 thoughts on “Mud (and New Arrivals).

  1. Welcome to your sweet little nephew! Love his name and though I’ve only seen his siblings in the pictures you’ve featured on occasion, I must say he looks like them, and that’s a good thing! What a great way to handle the sibling-sitting during new-baby arrival; wish my mother lived closer so my sis and I could do that for each other. Discovered this blog about 6 months ago (I Signed Up For This) and am so blessed by it. Thank you for your efforts!

  2. Why is it that so many of your posts bring me to tears? Perhaps it’s because of something so precious and innocent, so dear, a life fast-fading from much of the rest of our world–even our country. The longing for what might have been–my 3 children rarely had the opportunity to play with their 7 cousins–though they had a ball when they did! Longing for this to have been their reality. And knowing that in the future–with 2 of mine in California and everyone else back here–the beauty you portray here will never be part of their children’s experience. How I love your posts, Mrs. Gore–even though they make me cry.

  3. I love the innocence of children. I became a mother last year and it has completely changed my perspective of this world. My son takes joy stomping in puddles and watching birds and leaves floating in the wind.
    Loved the mud pictures! And congrats on the newest addition 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s