Friday, May 28, 2010

Archeologist Mommy


What did you want to be when you grew up?  A nurse, a teacher, a doctor, an astronaut?

Me?  I wanted to be an archeologist.  I grew up in an area rich with history. Our local newspaper often had articles about preserving our heritage and stories about old coins and relics turning up in local fields.  A state college would also bring students to examine the fossils near our home. 

I had a thirst for adventure-a female Indiana Jones of sorts.

I remember my mom coming home one day to find a hole in the back of the garage that I had dug looking for treasure.  My mom didn't get mad.  She seemed to think it was normal for her daughter to be using her imagination in such a way. Or maybe she had just given up by this time.  Remember I was the one who also had filled all of her tupperware with creepy crawlies.

Over time, other holes would pop up (usually where they wouldn't be noticed).

I never did find any treasure.  Unfortunately.

I was so excited when I was doing my field observations at a school near our state capital when I was studying education in college.  We were able to accompany the kids to a working archeological dig.  Archeology is a very tedious and often monotonous job.  I chose teaching over archeology after deciding that the reality of this profession wasn't for me.  I wasn't overly fond of math or science and better pay and better job security won out.

The closest I get to digging for treasure is digging in the diaper bag for stale snacks, searching for lollipops in the depths of my purse,  delving for some semblance of patience and self respect on a daily basis, or when we dig for dinosaurs in my daughter's rice box (which is perfect for hiding things for my daughter to find or just for scooping fun).

We had a fun morning at the playground where my daughter largely ignored the slide, the climbing wall, swings, and all the other fun things to do for the dirt.


I was reminded of how much fun it is to play in the dirt.

At the playground, they have this fine gravel/sand with four contraptions that kids can sit on and maneuver to scoop up and dump dirt.  My daughter (who is still a little young at 2 and not strong enough to really control it) chose to sit in the little pits in front of the machines and play.

Throwing, scooping (with her hands), digging, poking, kicking, blowing (not kidding) dirt.

Part of me (the OCD mommy part) wanted to go over to her, drag her away from her fun, and clean her up. Another part of me wanted her to have fun playing.  The sheer joy on her face was priceless.  After all,  isn't this what kids are supposed to do-enjoy the dirt? There is something immensely pleasing about getting messy.

If there was any doubt in my mind about what I should do, I was reminded by the other moms I was with.  They all talked about how much fun it is to play in the dirt.  The exploring and learning that takes place with this simple yet messy activity can't be beat.  It's part of childhood.

I let her be.

When we left the playground, my daughter looked filthy.

Yet, after I brushed off the dirt and swiped at her hands and visible skin with a wet wipe before loading her into the car, you would never know how she had spent her morning.

Well, the dirt under her nails would clue anyone in if they took the time to look closely.

Needless to say, guess who is still getting a bath tonight.


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23 comments:

Dina said...

i wish i knew i wanted to be an archaeologist at a young age...now i am fascinated and would love to do it, but like you said...math...ughh. job prospects, not many for a woman who would not graduate until she was close to 50...not a reality. my son however is just as fascinated, his favorite show is Bones and he's 5. so i hope i can live vicariously through him.

Erin said...

What fun for you and your daughter - diggin for treasure! Visiting from Follow Friday - hope to see you at my blog!

xo Erin

cheri said...

i wish i can control my OCD when my 2-year-old son plays in the yard :(

from friendly friday :)

Liz said...

What fun! I am a new follower from The Girl Creative! Great blog. Happy Friday!

www.thefloweringdogwood.com

♥GossipMama♥ said...

Swinging by here from follow friday and new friends friday and friday follow me. Im your new followe. Nice blog.

http://www.gossipme.us/2010/05/friday-memes.html

Lourie said...

I loved playing in the dirt...and the MUD. My kids....do NOT. They are like their Daddy. Over the years they have loosened up some...my son is still very fussy, but every once in a while he surprises me.

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

I love it and I think that is great! We "dig for dinosaur bones" in our yard and we have a blast... and a collection of rocks aka dinosaur eggs that we find!

Mindy said...

Love this post! I have been trying to learn to just let my kids be messy and have fun outdoors. They love getting wet and playing in the dirt.

From Tracie said...

I went through that archeology stage for a bit too. Then I grew to love the air conditioner too much to seriously consider a job that requires many hours outside in the heat! lol

Jenn @ South of Sheridan said...

Visiting from Follow Friday! I saw you're going to Bloggy Bootcamp in Philly, I'll see you there! :)

You can find me here:
http://southofsheridan.blogspot.com

Beth said...

New follower from New Friend Friday- please follow me back at a

http://helpingunitefatherandson.blogspot.com/

Happy Friday!!

The Drama Mama said...

Isn't it funny how sometimes life changes our perspective on things and then kids come along and make us change our minds again?

MageeBaby said...

Loved reading this post!!!! I get a magazine about archeological digs in Isreal and middle east and it seems sooo interesting. :)

Visiting and following from FF.
MageeMommy
http://mageebaby.blogspot.com
and
http://westtennesseefamily.blogspot.com/

Rachel said...

I'm your newest follower from Friday-Follow! Come and follow me too!

frugalformyfriends.blogspot.com

J. L. W. said...

Wow! Welcome to all the new followers of TPMG!

J. L. W. said...

We just went and bought a water & SAND table yesterday at TRU. Let the fun commence. They now sell mud pie kits. My husband was so tempted. I told him she does NOT need a "kit" to make mud pies.

Jennifer said...

I needed this reminder of how much fun it is to play in the dirt. My son was never a messy kid.. he didn't like to be messy, but my daughter is like Pigpen on Peanuts. She can smell dirt and mess and seek it out. She is filthy at the end of every day and I often get horrified as she emerges from the playground with sand in her hair, dirt under her nails and looking like a miner fresh from work. I need to let it go and let her have fun. Great post! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

blueviolet said...

You are even cooler than I thought and I love that you accept that thirst for adventure in your own child as well. But, how in the world did you dig a hole in your garage? LOL

J. L. W. said...

It was behind the garage! If I had dug in the garage (which would have been pretty hard to do) I wouldn't have made it to adulthood.

Chelle said...

I think that archaeology is fascinating! And I love how your girl is taking after you, too.

HeartsMakeFamilies said...

That sounds soo much fun!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

This post has been selected as one of my great posts of the week. Here is the link to my post that mentions you: http://www.jdaniel4smom.com/2010/06/great-posts-i-came-across-this-week.html

MoziEsmé said...

Yep, cleaning up the dirt at the end of the day is all part of a mom's job!

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