Throw Back Thursday: How Children Remind Us We Are Free

I wrote this one in 2017, so my daughter was about 3 and teaching me some important lessons in my “old age.” I thought I’d share it today for Throwback Thursday.

She is drawn to mud puddles like a moth to flame.

Like a horse to water.

Like a fly to poop.

Like me to chocolate.

She was drawn to it that day and I let her – even though she was wearing a new cute, light pink dress and I had a feeling it would end up splattered with brown within a matter of seconds.

Still, I love the idea of children being allowed to be children and of me being able to photograph it.

She started by stepping in the water in one part of the gravel parking lot, standing with the murky brown liquid covering both her ruby red slippers with the sparkles – the slippers she had picked out six months ago on a shopping trip for basketball shoes for her brother.

She’d been drawn to those slippers too. She put them on and said “these mine,” and left her old shoes in the floor and walked toward the exit.

When those slippers were covered in water on this day she smiled, or rather smirked, and started to step in each little pool of muddy water with a low chuckle of delight. Soon she was running through the puddles and asking me to do the same.

It was a familiar scene. She’d done the same two days earlier and we had run in the ankle deep water in another parking lot and laughed as we ran.

People smiled at us as they walked by on their way to the local clinic. I think they wanted to run in puddles too.

On this day I ran again with her because that’s why God gives us children – to remind us how be free, that we are free in Him.

Free to splash in puddles.

Free to not care what anyone else thinks.

Free to remember who we really are.

Children remind us that sometimes we need to stop and feel the water squish into our shoes and between our toes and then we need to giggle and see how much mud we can splatter up out of the puddle and all over our clothes.

Children remind us to climb a tree because – why not?

Children remind us that pushing a cart across a parking lot as fast as you can and then jumping on the back of it and riding it to your car is – well – really fun.

Children remind us to be distracted by the way the sun hits the sunflowers in the fields and the butterfly fluttering among the cattails by the pond.

Children remind us how nice it is to hold someone’s hand when you walk across the street.

Children remind us that sometimes we need to let go and simply be alive.

Her brother jumped across the puddle and landed on his feet.

She jumped across the puddle and landed on her rear in the middle of the puddle.

And she laughed and I had a good feeling she flopped in the water on purpose.

Who will show me to stop and laugh in the puddles when my children are older?

Who will remind me it’s ok to not be serious all the time?

Who will hold my hand when I cross the street?

Who will whisper as I walk across a park “I love you, mama?” leaving me with that funny feeling you get in your chest right before you cry?

Why do we forget how to laugh, to splash, to play as we grow?

Why do we forget to live instead of just exist?

18 thoughts on “Throw Back Thursday: How Children Remind Us We Are Free

  1. The juxtaposition of those ruby slippers and the puddles…just perfect! 👌😍 I have to admit that I feel a little guilty after reading this post. I am way too serious and stressed. (Sigh.) But I am learning how to create enough space in my life to not feel so rushed and stressed, so that I have the capacity to enjoy more moments with my children like these.

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    • There are days I don’t feel like having the fun moments either and I have had moments of being too stressed but this was right after our dog of 14 years died and I had been suffering with some weird thing where I was constantly vibrating inside (I don’t even know how to explain it but it lasted four months) and I guess I just decided life was too short to be all balled up with stress and not let the kids have some fun. I had to unclench, in other words 🙂

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  2. Oh I do love this post. it just reached in and touched my heart. Your children are amazing. What a great mom you are to them allowing. Not a lot of moms like kids to be dirty. I think a clean kid is an unhappy kid, kids need to be mini explorers and adventures. Thanks for a fun post… I truly did love reading this.

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    • Thank you for reading. I have another post on here where I let them jump in these huge puddles outside the library during a diluge of rain. People were running to their cars, looking at us like we were crazy, but it was so much fun! And the photos were great too!


  3. What an awesome post Lisa…so thankful for kids’ innocence in a world that’s so overwhelming…your pictures are such a blessing, I feel like they look like ones other bloggers use from the “shareable professional photography sites”…you have such a gift with words and photography ❤️

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  4. This is so beautiful, and it looks like it was so much fun! My daughter just turned 3 and it hurts my heart we can’t go out and have adventures like this right now. Oddly enough, though, my kids are kind of adverse to getting messy, so it’s usually me splashing around in mud! Okay, maybe my heart hurts for me since I can’t go out and play in the dirt and climb trees in my pretty dresses. But, gosh, this reminds me of how much fun childhood is, and just how fleeting.

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      • Well, the easy answer is that I am high risk and, since our county and whole state continue to see a continual, slow rise in cases, it’s recommended people like me go out as little as humanly possible and, if I must, I need to wear a mask, which, with asthma, isn’t easy for me to breathe in. The more difficult to explain explanation would be that my daughter has developed some very interesting ideas about when and by whom clothing should be worn. She thinks shoes are no longer necessary and should only be worn by her brother, clothes are for sleeping in, and only boys wear underwear. I’m usually so befuddled by her that it’s easier to just give them some markers and let them draw on themselves because trying to explain otherwise just makes her thrown some epic tantrums. I’m kind of looking forward to this bizarre toddler stage coming to an end, though I am amused by all the stories I’ll have. Oh, and parks usually have at least one dog and my son is deathly afraid of even the fluffiest, most benign puppy out there. I’m about a day away from convincing them it’s okay to roll around in paint.

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