Yesterday, I did my best to let go of my usual parent standards of what qualifies as a good idea.
I let the child put on her rain boots, backed a backpack full of towels, water, a pail, and shovels. I drove Maeve and Patches over to our local reservoir and hiked with them through six inches of mud and snow down to the beach.
It was breathtakingly beautiful out, but it was so... inconvenient to get there. Messy. Tiring. And several times I was afraid the dog would pull me down into the mud.
But to have children is to experience beauty and inconvenience, mess and delight, all at once, nearly every day. So I let the two of them frolic on the beach - though I didn't let them wander far onto the frozen lake. My mom nerves can only take so much chaos.
And yes, the child managed to have an accident before we could get to the port-a-potties. And yes, there was an abundance of mud and sand to deal with. But Maeve and Patches were happy and tired for a good portion of the afternoon, and that was golden.
As a mom, it can be hard to give up a bit of control. But oh, the results when I do.