This photograph of Kemper, and my niece Brynn, was taken a few weeks ago in Brevard, North Carolina. The two cheeky little gremlins had just been sloshing through the creek that was running higher than I had ever seen it on account of the torrential rain and snow melt. Still, it was shallow enough in places to come just over their wellingtons, thereby defeating the boots’ entire purpose. I think they had more fun splashing in their boots on dry land, listening to the sucking sounds that their feet made within the boots, than they did in the creek itself.
Living square in the suburbs, Kemper and Brynn play “outside” all of the time, meaning they play with chalk on the driveway, ride their bikes and trikes, but they do not have the chance to slosh through the creeks in Florida. There are too many unseen dangers, the least of which are alligators and moccasins. So, to be able to traipse through the mud and cold water in North Carolina was as much a release for the kids as it was to watch for the grownups – my sister, Claire, Anna and me. We got to see the nature of our kids come out in the natural elements. Though Kemper lamented the long hikes, he loved to play with the sticks and threw the rocks that he found along the way. Give him a mud puddle, and he will have fun for longer than any sow or elephant might. It was heartening to see them both having fun, and whats more, having fun together.
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