This is part of a monthly 10 on 10 series where a group of photographers shares ten photos from either the previous month or one day on the tenth day of the month. Please see the bottom of the post for the link to the next blogger in the circle.

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I was “that mom” at our local library one day at the beginning of August. I was at the library for a bench dedication that my newspaper editor husband had asked me to take photos of because he couldn’t attend.

The sky had opened up and was releasing a deluge of water, pooling it in the front yard of the library, next to the sidewalk when we got there.

My daughter had put on her rain boots before we left and I knew she’d absolutely love jumping in that puddle on our way back out. She is a puddle jumping junkie. When we came out of the library I told her she could jump in the puddle, envisioning quick leaps in place and stomping feet. But this is my child we are talking about and her older brother was there so I should have known better.

Before I knew it I had two kids soaked almost head to toe, partially from the rain and partially from puddle jumping.

A few people walked by as the pair of them jumped and there were brief grins, one stoic glance and at least two expressions from mothers that I can only describe as a mix of pity and disbelief.

I saw the strained smile on the face of one mother as she walked by and she could have been thinking a hundred different things but I chuckled thinking she might be the mom I sometimes feel guilty I’m not – the one who winces at the sight of disorder and mess, the organized mother, the one who likes her children like her vehicle -clean and efficient.

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“Good luck with that mess. I’d never let my kids do that,” I imagined her thinking to herself.

Of course, she might have been thinking “I should have let my kids do that when they asked.” Or “I wish I had been able to have children so I could watch them jump like that.” Or something not even related to my puddle splashing children.

I’ll never know what that mom was thinking but this mom was thinking how happy she was that her kids were being kids and didn’t need electricity to do it.

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The children who walked by were putting their heads down and dutifully followed their parents or grandparents, walking briskly past all the fun to get to their cars. I bet they were secretly wishing their parents would let them jump in mud puddles.

Hey, at least those children who were walking were walking out of a library, carrying a book, experiencing life beyond a computer screen.

DSC_8992DSC_8999Maybe that’s what’s missing these days – the chance to jump in some mud puddles. I mean – come on – it’s fun, Mom and Dad! Let them jump! They can wash their clothes later. And the inside of the car? Eh, find a coat to sit them on for the drive home after they have fallen in the puddle, twice, like my kid did.

Perhaps I should have been more concerned about the interior of my van, but, well, my kids were having fun. Their faces had lit up. They were giggling and smiling and quite frankly we needed it that day, after a long, sometimes emotional weekend full of family losses and challenges.

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And, as usual, I took photos to remind me that, yes, kids can and should have fun by fully immersing themselves in the simple moments of life but also to remember that sometimes we have to push through the mess to find the joy.

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To continue the blog circle for this months 10 on 10 and to see some wonderful images, click over to Jennifer’s blog

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Written by Lisa R. Howeler

As a writer, photographer and former journalist, Lisa R. Howeler writes a little bit about everything on her blog Boondock Ramblings. She's a wife and a mother and enjoys a good John Wayne movie and a cozy Jan Karon book. She's also a freelance writer and photographer who is a contributor to various stock agencies, including Lightstock and Alamy. Her photography work focuses on documentary and photojournalism.

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