Get Dirty

In Singapore, we often grow up in a clean and sterile environment. I see parents not wanting their child to ‘get dirty’ and they are often armed with wet wipes and loads of tissue paper to clean up their child. A little bit of mud or grass, some dirt is not tolerated. Yet, I feel that by doing so, by over-protecting our child, we may be losing something, we may be hurting them.

The outdoors is a great place for a child to learn many necessary life skills. It’s a place for them to grow up and pick up useful skills. It’s a place for them to exercise their creativity and curiosity.

Today, I plan to get dirty. Today, I allow my child to get dirty.


I’m going to be dirty today.

As a kid, Mama often met me on the back stoop as I came in from playing outside. With a broom in her hand she’d have me slowly turn in a circle while she brushed dirt from my blue jeans. She wasn’t against sweeping my bare legs either if I happened to be wearing shorts.

“Don’t bring that mess in this house.” She’d say. “Did you plan to get dirty?”

Well no. I hadn’t planned to. I was a kid. There was dirt. We met and fell in love. The end.

I remembered that this morning as I thought about where to plant some things in the yard. I still love dirt. Not potting soil in shiny garden-center bags. I don’t care for the sterile smell of plastic and perlite. I love real dirt. Earth.

One of the finest smells of spring is that…

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