A Little Water . . . and A Lot of Tide

“A little water clears us of this deed:
How easy is it, then!”

–Lady Macbeth

Oh, that Lady Macbeth . . . She was a troubled gal.  Well, she might have been a bit more than that, but we’ll save our literary analyses for another day.  This post is about Edgar; however, Lady Macbeth’s disturbingly blithe comment seems apt. 

Yesterday we attended King Richard’s Faire–a colorful, visceral Renaissance fair nestled in the woods of eastern Massachusetts–and to say that Edgar attracted attention might be one of the most profound understatements I’ve made in recent memory. 

After a series of torrential downpours the night before and that morning, the grounds at the fair had miniature lakes interspersed throughout, and these small bodies of water proved more than a little tempting for Edgar. 

He bonded with one in particular and spent nearly an hour splashing, scooping, and preparing mud pies.  He was covered from waist to feet in mud–and he never looked happier.  Five people asked to photograph him, one woman told him he was her favorite person ever, and dozens asked if he were auditioning for one of the shows.

But there were a fair number, mainly folks with young children, who said to their sons and daughters as they passed and stared amazed at their comrade in childhood, “Don’t even think about it!”

And as I stood ten feet away, observing and eating too much kettle corn, I wondered why these children couldn’t “even think about it.”  In fact, I wondered why they couldn’t join him.  Granted, this kind of mud play isn’t for everyone (Oscar and August come to mind).  But there are plenty who would bask in it–literally and figuratively–and they were scurried away. 

Less than 12 hours later, Edgar’s shirt, shorts, and shoes–not to mention Edgar himself–are as squeaky clean as anything can be, and he has a memory (and provided one for others) that will last a lifetime.

There are times, of course, when this sort of engagement with the elements is not feasible, but a Renaissance fair, where there is nothing but time to allow your senses to feast, seems to be the perfect opportunity.

Maybe the parents who moved their children quickly past my son yesterday afternoon had good reasons for not wanting their children to play in the mud; but if they didn’t, well . . . I’ll end this sentence here and leave you with an image instead:

Unencumbered childhood joy–completely pure and completely harmless.  Something to think about.


2 thoughts on “A Little Water . . . and A Lot of Tide

  1. I love this story. Reminds me of when my son, now 31, was Edgar”s age. We were at the Harvest fair and he begged to go in the dunk tank. The girl manning the tank said “sure he could join her.” Well I caved and said ok. Within minutes he went down into 4 feet of water…..loved every minute of it. To this day he remembers it with a great smile on his face. Good for you for letting your child be a child. God forbid we should have so much fun as an adult!

  2. I too love this story Sam. I never had the opportunity to experience this with my boys because neither of them were mud pie guys. I admire you, as always, you have a fun-loving sense of motherhood that is rarely seen and I know Oscar, Edgar and August will realize how very lucky they are as they grow into amazing young men!!

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