Did you ever have a day that defined how you would interact with the world? Who you would ultimately be as a parent? Squishy couldn’t have been more that seven months old, and I had lost him. It wasn’t the first time. Since he learned to crawl, the little stinker was constantly escaping. But this day was different, he was just gone, no where in the house. Frantically and in tears I ran out to the backyard. Every imaginable, catastrophic  image running through my mind as I stepped on to the porch. There in the middle of a huge mud puddle sat my baby, happy as could be. His two loyal subjects (our Australian Shepard’s Lollypop and Taffy) patiently standing watch. The ringing in my ears leveled off to a slow hum as my heart rate struggled to stay in my chest. That is when I heard it. The magical baby laughter of sheer delight. “Outside” he was squealing, “Outside!” Mud was goopily dripping from between his clinched fists. That was my moment. The moment everything I thought I would be as a mom shifted.

I chose the path less traveled, the one full of mud, and bruises. A path that has led us to snails, bug guts and toads in pockets (literally, I’m not even joking. I now triple check pockets going in the washing machine). I hope that our story and adventures will inspire you to get messy, make mistakes, and enjoy a childhood outdoors.


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