This is part of a monthly blog circle where we post 10 photos on the 10th day of the month. To continue the circle click on the link at the bottom of the post.


She had a spade and she wanted to dig for worms in the space where our garden is going to go, at some point, though it will probably be late again like it was last year.  I was a little relieved she seemed interested in finding something to do without us needing to take a trip somewhere that might involve money. It was a tight week financially and I was feeling guilty I couldn’t take the kids to a local arts festival.

A few moments later my oldest pulled a shovel out of the garage and  was shoveling too. He didn’t know why, he just wanted to dig a hole and see what was there, he said.

I had to think about this for a moment. Did I want them to really dig a hole in our side yard? It was where I want to put a garden this year again. Plus it was space where the children and new puppy could run. But then, here they were on a sunny day, outside in the fresh air. They weren’t inside on digital devices or starring at what my mom had called “the boob tube” when I was growing up. I decided I’d let them do almost anything if they were outside enjoying themselves.

DSC_5520I let go of what some might consider conventional parenting thoughts of “we shouldn’t get dirty” and the logical questions of “why are you digging a hole?” and “what will you do with this hole once it is dug?” Instead, I stood and watched them dig their hole. The dug all day until it was so dark they couldn’t see their hands in front of their faces.

It reminded me of my childhood – playing and pretending and creating outside until well after the glow of dusk had faded and we could hear the peepers and the crickets in the woods behind the house. My shins would be bruised and my knees dirty and Mom would send me straight to the tub where I often turned it brown with the dirt I’d been playing in.

DSC_5546DSC_5528DSC_5543DSC_5561_1DSC_5571_1DSC_5546DSC_5790They took the digging so seriously it was almost like being on a work site. My 11-year old (the boy) did most of the digging while my 3-year old (the girl) sifted through the dirt to collect rocks, putting them off to the side, along with pieces of glass and some old bones. We were a bit alarmed by the old bones, hoping we weren’t digging up a former homeowner’s old pets, but then remembered this area was where our old dog used to burry the various bones and treats we’d give him.DSC_5953_1

At the end of the day we ran a bath and the kids filled it with bubbles and had a bubble war.

“This has been the best day ever, hasn’t it?” My 11-year old asked as they dried off.

And here I thought it was going to be one of the worst.
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To continue the circle click over to Erika Kao’s blog.

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18 Comments on “You want to dig a hole in the back yard instead of playing on digital devices? OK.

  1. Best day ever. Love the construction site with the words on her shirt. 🙂

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  2. Best day for sure. It’s so awesome when they’re actually being kids and not stuck to electronics. I love your daughter’s shirt and all the different perspectives you captured of them having their fun.

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  3. I love that you let them be kids and just explore the yard and dirt! The little moments tend to be the most memorable, don’t they? And that bath photo at the end…. soooo cute!!

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  4. This is such a good post! I love the perspectives the images provide (and that sky!), and I’m so glad your kids enjoyed themselves so much. I think my favorite thing though was that you didn’t end with the digging of the hole, you ended with bathtime. Brilliant!

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  5. Beautiful photos! Love that you just let them be, something I am sure they will remember doing! And you can show them when they get older!

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  6. Oh, LISA. I am in love with the dirt and mess and absolute joy in your children as they re-landscape your yard! How absolutely delightful.

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  7. I got all choked up at
    — “This has been the best day ever, hasn’t it?” My 11-year old asked as they dried off. —
    Beautifully written and great documentation of digging a hole. Who knew it could look so awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. How sweet! I love it! When my daughter was younger, I would let my daughter play in the dirt when I was gardening. I loved it!

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  9. These are so fantastic! I love how such a simple thing can become such a wonderful memory.

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