Yesterday, we had friends from Ohio come to spend the day with us. It was hot, so in the afternoon, all the kids donned bathing suits to go out in the sprinkler.
They had a great time running and laughing, pouring buckets of water over their heads and over each other's heads. At one point, the four older ones got together to create a big mud wallow and heave gigantic rocks into it, just to see how big of a mud splash they could make. "Cannonball!" they all yelled together, then sploosh! Mud everywhere.
I let them do it. It's summer, after all, and I've heard mud is good for the complexion. Someday some spa will charge $100 for the same thing.
Once they had exhausted themselves we went indoors. Of course, we tried first to squirt the mud off their ears, foreheads, elbows, backs, and back sides. There was no way we could get it all, but we tried. Inside, bathing suits were put immediately into the laundry.
When our guests' mom came to get them, we laughingly told her about the afternoon's adventure. "Sounds like you had fun!" and then a whisper to me, "...thanks for washing the suits!" I sent them away with a basketful of dinner and hugs.
I'm hoping that a day of crazy fun was just what they needed. They were in town because their grandmother is sick in the hospital. So, when they arrived, they were pensive. There was none of that on their way out the door. Just laughter. I like that.
I think that kind of play is really therapeutic for kids. Sometimes you just have to let your kids go a little insane to keep them sane the rest of the time. And it feels so good to watch them be creative (even with mud!) and play themselves totally exhausted.
That is totally worth a little laundry.