They’re just clothes

I was called many things as a child. Among them were “tom boy”, “dirtball” and “orphan Annie”. They were accurate. I would get myself as dirty as I possibly could and I would love every second of it. I climbed trees and fences. I scraped knees and elbows. I played in mud and dirt and then wiped my hands on my clothes.

More importantly, my mom didn’t stop me from doing it.

I don’t recall having a lot of “dressy” clothes. There were “picture day” clothes, of course, but otherwise I wore play clothes. And I was meant to play in them.

I’m still not an incredibly neat person. I have my perfectionist issues – you should see my coupon folder, day planner or index card box. But when it comes to the bigger picture, I’m a mess. I cannot keep a clean desk to save my life. I live in complete clutter.

And I love it.

It’s an organized chaos. I can find what I need when I need it – I just might have to move a few things around first.

I’ve been told that messiness is a sign of a creative mind. I don’t know if that’s true, but I like it so I’m going to say that it is.

You can't really see it in the picture, but the Sharpie is on her shorts and shirt as well! -- I still have the shirt :P)

The play clothes philosophy has carried over to my daughter’s wardrobe. She gets a fancy holiday dress every year and maybe one or two others. Otherwise, (aside from school uniforms) I do not give her any clothes that I don’t expect to become a complete mess.

I want my child to be a child. I want her to enjoy playing without worrying about getting a spot of dirt on her. She will ride her bike and fall off. She will play baseball and soccer in the dirt. Her clothes will get dirty and bloody and ripped and torn. And she’ll have fun throughout all of it. And her dirty, bloody, torn and ripped clothes will get washed or recycled into rags or bedding for the ferrets.

Who cares if she wears white shorts to soccer practice?

They’re just clothes.


10 responses to this post.

  1. HAHAHA! That picture reminds me of when I painted my whole body with black magic marker as a child…then another time, I painted myself with my sister’s pink finger nail polish! My mom said I told her I was trying to look pretty….
    Other than that, I actually didn’t like getting dirty…My mom told me about this dinner we went to and I was in this frilly little dress carrying my plate of food when I tripped and the food got ALL over me…She said I started crying and saying, “My dress is dirty!” LOL
    I didn’t care that I fell…I cared about the dress….but then again, I’ve always been a super girly girl that always wears dresses…I still hate pants honestly and have gotten asked on many occasions if I am Pentecostal…to which I reply, NO!
    As far as housekeeping, though…I am definitely NOT neat and organized at all, although I wish I were!


    • Hehe – I’d like to see a picture of that!

      I have definitely known kids who do not like to get dirty, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m speaking more about the kids like me or my daughter – the ones who were perfectly content to roll around in the dirt!

      And for housekeeping? My theory is this — I have more important things to do in my life (i.e. spend time with my daughter – family – friends – and yeah, work) than cleaning!!!


  2. I love that picture of Abby! That’s so cute! That’s a great philosophy to have. it reminds me of what my Dad always says – “A little dirt never hurt nobody.” 🙂


    • Hehe, thanks! I remember sticking her in the chair and grabbing my camera thinking, “uh, should I be scolding her instead of laughing and taking pictures?” LOL

      And your dad is a wise man!


  3. I have the exact same philosophy about clothes and keeping kids clean! If they’re too clean they ain’t having any kind of fun!


  4. I’m trying to learn to get in touch with the child and explorer in me and get more dirty too! =) I just got back from a couple days in a rural part of the Andes where I wore the same clothes for two days straight and watched how they washed their dishes with the same water without soap. And of course, the roofless home was in “organized chaos.” It’s so cool to learn about and live in other “cultures.” =P


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