When Tony plays baseball he tends to get very dirty. He slops around in the dirt on the baseball diamond after it rains and delights in the peril of his every step. I stress about how hard it will be to keep myself free from his baseball diamond dirt the rest of the afternoon.
During my brother's recent visit, I think one of the most delightful moments was when we took off our shoes after our long bike ride south on the lakefront and got our feet in the sand and water. There was sand in my apartment for days after he left town.
And today, after a regular ol' Tuesday full of work day into early night, I had a bike ride home in rain that resulted in that another messy situation. At the end of my ride, I looked down at my dirt and rain soaked shoes and thought, "You know what? I don't know how these shoes will ever look again, but I'm really happy. That was really fun!"
In a big city, moments to run around outside on grass or even on concrete are few and far between. I'm a firm believer that, no matter by what means, no matter where you are, it is important to be messy, dirty and lose yourself in sweet I-don't-care-how-I-look-or-how-hard-this-is-going-to-be-to-clean-up abandon on a regular basis. Do it. You'll be happy you did.