Don’t Sanitize The Adventure
Earlier today at the park, I watched as my daughter followed other children around the playground. She grabbed the same hand rails that the other kids did. They held hands and sang “ring around the rosie” a half dozen times, falling to the cracked asphalt ground each time. They pretended to be pirates and took turns turning a wheel, giving each other high fives.
After the other kids dispersed, we went for an adventure walk in the park, which is in a heavily wooded area. She grabbed some twigs and drew pictures in the dirt. She felt the new growth of green grass in her fingers. Her pants were dirty and her hands not sanitized.
During those couple of hours, did I bust out my trusty bottle of Purell? No. I don’t carry one with me. I have a spare one in the car and one in the house, in case her hands come in contact with something that is really unsanitary. So, I brushed the dirt off her pants and put her in the car. We drove to a restaurant, where we washed our hands with soap and water before we ate. No big deal.
I’m sure you’ve heard it though.
Don’t touch that. It has germs.
Don’t sit on the grass. It’s dirty.
Don’t play outside, you’ll get sick.
Don’t touch them. Don’t high five. No fists bumps. No hugs. No holding hands. Get away! RUN!
All of us want to protect our children. When they get sick, it’s just about the worst thing in the world. So we do what we can to help them.
Our biggest line of defense against the unseen enemy is usually a bottle of hand sanitizer. We use it at will to protect our kids, but are we maybe hurting them in the process?
Parents also seem to do their best to keep their kids clean, even while at play. I have heard some parents telling children not to play in grass, because grass grows in dirt. Can these aversions to dirt be hurting our kids too?
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