Cleanest of the dirtiest

Since we were only going to my mom’s for a few days and it was just me taking them, I wanted to make sure I had the least amount of bags to deal with. This meant squeezing everyone’s clothes into one small bag, one that would pass airport carry-on standards. We’d only be hanging out at the house so it’s not like we needed anything fancy. I thought one extra shirt and pants should be fine. Leave it to kids, or at least my kids, to prove me wrong.

Everything was fine until we arrived at my mom’s house. Her yard backs onto the escapement, making it a great place for kids to play and explore. After being in the van for three hours, hanging outside was a perfect way to release that pent up energy. My youngest obviously remembered our visit in February and sledding down the hill in the backyard. This was the first thing she tried to do. Problem was there was no snow, no sled and no snow pants. Her perfectly clean pants were now caked with brown mud, grass and who knows what else.

Okay, she’s young and maybe not thinking things through. But then my son decides to play a single-player version of catch by throwing a ball up the hill and catching it as it rolls down. Not so bad, until he tries to be a ball stopping superstar and dive across the grass. And my oldest daughter isn’t any better. She can’t seem to break away from the hills call, rolling down it on her side. I love the feeling of rolling down a hill, but not through squishy, slimy grass.

But I’m saved, right, because I packed those extra clothes. Sure, the next day the kids start out wonderfully clean. But after a day of sliding, skipping, ball playing, mountain climbing, cousin catching, dinky truck driving fun, you can hardly recognize them from the foliage out back.

So today we were leaving for home and I found myself having to pick through the pile of dusty, dirty kids clothes trying to find the items that were the least dirtiest of the bunch. And things probably would have been fine had I just ushered them from my mom’s house to the van to home. But I had to make a stop at the pie shop before heading home and I couldn’t leave them in the car. The girl at the counter didn’t seem to notice my dirty brood. Maybe she’s seen her share of mud encrusted kids come by (I mean they are out in a farmer’s field). Or maybe she just wanted me to stay in the shop long enough to buy more pies. It will be a while before my next pie visit. And maybe on my next visit to my mom’s I’ll bring that extra bag of clothes just in case.

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