Out of strawberries

Hey, honey, look! A deer! Oh. How did you get down there?

I took the kids for a ride on the golf cart Sunday while we were visiting my parents and thought I broke my 20 month old daughter’s nose at one point. “Deer! Jonathan cried and without thinking I slammed on the brake and then reached for 

Grace sitting on the seat next to me so I could lift her up to see the deer. The issue is, she wasn’t there for me to grab. Golf carts don’t have seat belts and Grace isn’t very heavy so she was in the floor with her face pressed up against the front of the cart. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked up this child and expected to see blood gushing from her face but haven’t.

This was one of those times. She had tears and a look of confusion on her face but her smile came back pretty fast as I held her on my lap for the rest of the ride.

Her brother seemed to want to get injured since he thought it was funny to jump off and on the cart while it was moving. The thing cruises along at 15 mph most of the time but I still pictured him tripping and falling under a tire. The one time I didn’t mind him jumping was when he jumped into the high grass to grab me a bunch of flowers. Well, I did mind a little because I’m a mom and of course I thought about how there are ticks in that grass and how he was only wearing shorts.

I’m reading a book by Ken Davis called Fully Alive and I’m trying to follow his suggestions of pushing fear aside and trusting God so I can live life to its fullest but I wasn’t sure if walking in the high, tick-infected grass was living with abandon or just being plain stupid. I prayed over the grass and walked in for a few photos before dashing out again and hoping none of the little Lyme Disease carrying monsters were drilling their heads into my skin. Yes, this is the way my brain works.

I’m working on it, Ken, but old habits die hard.

10 on 10 January | Pennsylvania Photographer

It was like she had found the most exciting location in the world the way my daughter stomped her tiny 15 month old, boot-clad feet in the mud puddle in the park of a city we’d visited for the day.

We hadn’t brought extra socks so her dad and I wavered between telling her and her brother to stop playing with the icy water and not wanting to squealch their childhood fun.

Water splashed out onto the brick road and up her legs and she threw her head back and giggled.

And when she giggled her brother laughed. But with the laughter I remember tension and sadness because I didn’t let my nine year old splash as much as he would have liked. He was wearing his school shoes and we didn’t want him to get them wet and dirty.

I’m not good at being a strict parent. I’d rather be the parent who has fun and lets my children have fun, unless they are risking their safety.

I remember my son’s sad, disappointed expression on his face, the way he looked at his sister, as if to say “she can stomp in the puddle, why can’t I?” Looking back I wish I had let him stomp in that puddle. The fun of splashing with his sister was much more important than his shoes, which, if we had had to, we could have found the money to replace.

I look at these moments that leave me with a twinge of sadness as learning moments. The next time we’re near a puddle I’ll let him jump in, as I always have before and did one day after school, ignoring the other parents watching as my son jumped up and down and sat in the muddy water of a deep puddle.

Life is too short to worry about mud covered shoes and too precious to give away moments of pure joy and laughter. (Even though his shoes are these really cool light-up Batman shoes and I’d hate to have had them ruined with the muddy water, so, yeah, maybe it was OK to say no this time. Ha!)

This post is part of a blog circle with a group of other photographers. We post 10 photos on the 10th day of the month. To continue the circle visit Katie Brenkert!