Digging In The Dirt

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“It’s good for them,” I assured Tracey all last week as my kids played in the pile of dirt which was sitting idly on our driveway.

She agreed, although I could tell she had reservations. To be fair, anything I suggest should be looked at with a decent dose of skepticism.

I’d had two meters of good brown stuff delivered recently to be used to build a herb garden – because I’m sick of forgetting to buy parsley, dill or coriander – with any remaining dirt to add some topsoil to the backyard.

Great plan. Unfortunately, our wheelbarrow broke so it’s still sitting where it landed, more or less.

The kids have been playing in it, digging holes from one side to the next through which they can touch hands. They’ve been making dirt castles.They’ve been adding cups of water and making mud pies. And, as you’d expect, all this activity has been spreading the dirt onto the one patch of grass in the entire place which doesn’t need anything more than an occasional sun-shower to look awesome. But as I complained to Tracey, it’s a small price to pay for healthy kids.

Actually, it’s great to see them with dirty feet, knees and hands. I remember reading somewhere how our society is too clean and that kids need to get amongst it to boost their immune systems. So not only are our kids having fun, I can justify the extra housework required after bath time.

Or at least, I could.

Tracey has informed me the dirt is now out of bounds and is insisting I make fixing the wheelbarrow a priority next week.

“The dirt is starting to smell funky,” I told Tracey on Friday. Even though I’d ordered topsoil now I was wondering if maybe it was a compost or fertiliser mix.

Turns out I was half right.

“Would you look at that!” I said a couple of days ago when we had friends over. Everyone turned their attention to where I was pointing. One of our cats was jumping about the dirt pile seemingly chasing some invisible insect. It was super cute. Was. “Angel is chasing somethi…oh.”

Angel had suddenly lost interest in imaginary bugs, squatted, got busy, turned and sniffed its efforts and then swatted a thin layer of dirt over the mess.

“Kids!” screamed Tracey. “Inside!”

I’d have thought mid afternoon might be a little early for a shower, but apparently I can shut the hell up and will never be trusted again.

So, as our kids live in the twenty-first century and have access to cough syrups and vaccinations, ‘we’ve’ decided they have enough immunity from life, thank you very much, and the dirt is off limits.

Not just this dirt. All dirt.

But on the bright side the herbs will have a lovely little boost to help them get started.

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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”

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