…they are dry.
I watch them pace the banks like an inquisitive, newly-caged animal. They peer precariously over the edge as if unconsciously hoping to slip in and experience the splash.
While I am content to use my eyes to wallow in the twinkling beauty of sun sparkles and fill my lungs with fresh cool air, my children do not share this same willingness for passive appreciation. The ducks and geese are being suggestive. They freely waddle in and out of the water, watching us suspiciously, curious to know whether we possess something they might eat.
The logic of young children is different than mine of course. At first glance I see slippery mud banks sure to ruin any activities planned for the day that necessitated the only shoes we brought. I wonder about unknown quantities of goose and duck poop the innocent water houses in its pond soup, and hesitate thinking that it really *is* fall and the cooler temperature puts me into semi-paranoia mode at the thought that I would willingly create the possibility of sick kids.
But I only think of all that because I’m the mom. I’ve already slipped into the water countless times as a child, and ran barefoot to avoid annoying shoe-related shenanigans like worrying whether they’d get wet or ruined. My paranoia stems from what is suggested to me by some unconfirmed nag in the back of my mind. I get the gut feeling the nag was generated by some sensationalized news report at some point in my history. I really don’t *know* what the perfect combination of wet feet to temperature and wind velocity is to generate illness, nor do I know that playing in pond water with poop in it is a health hazard. We’re not going to drink it.
So, off come the socks and shoes. The pants are rolled up in a hopeless effort to keep them dry.
Our day at the pond becomes a moment of tentative exploration…
For the kids, life is had in the moments of discovery. These are the moments of childhood freedom.