Over this past weekend, spring weather arrived here in northwest Wisconsin. With warmer temperatures comes melting snow and lots of mud! Leave it to my three little princesses to find the deepest mud puddle in the pasture and spend the entire weekend splashing and digging in it. They would show up at the back door just in time for dinner covered from head-to-toe in mud and complain when I made them take off their clothes outside and send them straight into the shower. I am still trying to figure out how to get the stains out of their clothes.
A farm kid sees mud as an opportunity. An opportunity to have an excuse to be dirty, and an outlet for their adventurous imaginations. It creates a place for them to act out their adventures with little boundaries holding in their imaginations. I watched my girls halter up the horses and race them though the puddles pretending to be trekking through the old West.
Mud and fresh air not only does a great deal for the imagination of a child, it benefits their little bodies just as much. Dirt, mud and manure gives their immune systems quite a boost and exposes them to bacteria in a healthy environment. In fact, the best remedy that I know of for a bee sting is sticky mud. It cools and soothes the skin around the sting, and helps to pull the stinger out.
Farm kids are known to be healthier than kids who live in urban and suburban areas. They generally have less allergies and asthma, have boosted immune systems, and also tend to be in better physical health. I cannot imagine trying to raise little girls that cried every time then got a little dirt on their dress. As much as I dislike all of the dirt that comes into my house from warm spring days, I know how important it is for my girls to get muddy, and I am grateful for this farm life that allows ample opportunity for mud to happen.
About the Author
Rebekah Gustafson spends her days as a mom to three horse-crazy little girls, and a wife to her husband, Neil, in a small town in northwest Wisconsin where they were both born and raised on small dairy farms. She shares her passion for agriculture through her blog Cooped Up Creativity, as an administrator for the Ask The Farmers blog, as well as a volunteering for CommonGround.