Yesterday, I ventured out. Oh, and so did the kids.
We hit up the Art Barn, a local farm where children can pet, tend to, and experience life with cows, horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, bunnies, chickens, roosters, and pigs. The kids can brush and feed the animals and even help scoop up the poo (woo hoo!). At the end of the morning, there's lunch, an art project, and a tractor ride thrown into the mix just for the heck of it.
I kept it a complete surprise for the kids because even though I reserved our spot last week, I wasn't sure we would go. Because I'm a clean-freak. It's taken a lot of effort for me to hold back and not bathe these little guys six times a day. I swear to Steve Jobs that the first day the twins came home from preschool, I rubbed them down with wet wipes. In my mind, if I used wipes instead of a washcloth, then it wasn't really like bathing them and I could get away with it. Yeah, I was that bad.
Yesterday was all about Look at that horse! and Can we pet the pig?* and I wanna give the bunny a hug! It was also about me, mentally repeating to myself Yes, Heather. It's OK. It's OK. Dirt is OK. Farm dirt is OK. Poo smell is OK. Holding a baby chick isn't going to kill them or you. Just. Frakking. Chill.
And as I slowly relaxed, I realized that, hey. I used to spend summers on my grandfather's cattle farm. I baled hay and gave cows their injections and fell into, YES FELL INTO, cow patties, and hugged, YES HUGGED, many a cow. And I loved it. And I didn't die from a bacterial infection. And there are babies in Namibia** who crawl around in the dirt and live to adulthood.
As the day progressed, I no longer saw the dirt. What I did see were my three kids, having a great time.
Petting the baby chicks!***
And the best part? We washed our hands before we left and didn't even bathe before bed. I'm getting better all thanks to a little dirt.
* Seriously, ya'll. That pig? Up there in the 5th picture? I want one just like it. Yeah. I see a house pig in my future.
** This documentary looks beyond precious. Anybody want to go with me?
*** My sweet Bubba has a lisp and when I hear him shout that sentence? It just melts me into a gigantic puddle of AWWWWWWW!