Beautiful Minds

I looked out the window and saw my children all huddled around the slide on the swing set peering at it. I continued cooking supper and would steal glances every now and then. All of them stayed put in their places and every once in a while someone would throw their arms in the air and say “Yes!” or “Go, Go, Go!”

Curiosity filled me but I was intent on getting the meal ready.

Soon, my husband arrived home from work. I saw him walk across the yard and approach the children. He entered the house shortly after and announced, “Please make sure those kids wash their hands good before supper.” When I asked why, he informed me the kids were having slug races.

Slug races? What is a slug race? I had to run out and see for myself.

The kids having slug races

The kids having slug races

Apparently my 6 year old son discovered 3 slugs and everyone decided they wanted to enter them in a race to see who could get down the slide first. Surprisingly, even at a downward incline, slugs move at a very slow pace. My kids had engaged in this activity for over an hour and it probably could have entertained them much longer as the slugs had only completed half of their course when I called them in for dinner.

The racers

The racers

There are days that I lose faith that children remember how to play. As they grow older their imaginations wane as they are introduced to technology and television. The phrase of “I’m bored” is added to their daily language. The simple things they used to find enjoyment in are now babyish.

And then something like slug races comes along.

It restores my hope that they do know how to be creative. They can find pleasure in nature. They are satisfied with the simple joys that this world has to offer. They don’t always need something blinking and beeping to keep them entertained. They don’t need something that has come in a colorful box and found on a toy store shelf.

They just need their beautiful minds.

And they just need to wash their hands good before supper.


43 responses

    • That is such a cute visual of the slugs with saddles and jockeys. I don’t think they bet anything but seeing as we had broccoli for supper that night and not one of them enjoys it they should have bet that the loser had to eat everyone’s broccoli!

  1. This is absolutely marvelous … I love it !!! Thank you for being a Mom that doesn’t say ” NO ” to bugs & slugs, rolly pollies, frogs and toads !!! Some children miss out on all of the fun !!!!!!!!

  2. Love it! Sounds like Katie.& her cousins playing for hours this summer with rhubarb no less. They made forts, bow & arrows, hats & vests, etc. We all need to encourage imagination, creativity & dreams….you’re doing that Melissa so hooray for you!
    I had one doll…who was handicapped cuz one leg was shorter than the other…
    plastic dishes, a little kitchen set with tiny pots & pans….that was it for toys! But I had an entire farm with a “crick”, a zillion cats, a haymow, a neighbor lady who provided me with old pots, dishes & a coffee pot & ate all my mud pies & cookies while she shared her old piano & Saturday Evening Post magazines, a Mom who packed boiled eggs & koolaid in a fruit jar & told me to go have a picnic on the hill where I made the clouds into animals, people & whatever else popped into my head. And if I was dumb enough to say I was bored…which was too often…
    I hoed the garden, picked rocks & pulled yellow rocket from the fields. I had chores to do….never questioned or refused….it was the way things were & I don’t think “no” was ever taught to me.
    Childhood was the best part of my life & all kids should be able to have that opportunity without commercialism. You’re kids will remember the slug race always…look at the joy in their faces!
    (And a few slug germs are probably healthy!)

  3. I have this theory that people still need the same things, despite all the reliance on technology. We still need time outside and in nature, kids still need time to just play. I think that we all feel better when we engage in non-tech activities, and that need isn’t going to just go away. And I’m not anti-technology, just think it’s all about balance ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. This totally captures how I’ve been feeling. Being in the country has proved my kids still do know how to play. Isn’t amazing how little things can inspire so much excitement?

  5. these are the best moments! ๐Ÿ™‚ it’s amazing how we can find small , simple things so entertaining when we were kids but now we forgot all about it! great that you saw them play like this & took pictures so they can remember! ๐Ÿ™‚ who won? ha!ha! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Alison! Yes, I canโ€™t say that slugs are my favorite creatures. In fact I didnโ€™t even know we had any in our yard. The kids are always coming in to get jars to collect worms, crickets, roly polys, ants and spiders. I let them have at it as long as they donโ€™t bring them into the house!

  6. Bency knows all about where to find good slugs …. the last time I was there he asked me to help him lift a really heavy plank that lays beside the garage … because that is where the best slugs are !!! Unfortunately we couldn’t budge or lift that plank that day. Obviously he found the means to get it lifted … Maybe the three of them worked it out !!!

  7. I love your kids’ creativity. And I love your take-away from it. It is hard to not feel concerned about so many aspects of modern life. Thank you for reminding me that, at heart, kids are kids. Off to tweet this inspiring post…

  8. This made me laugh because it is so cute (how great did it feel watching all 3 play together without fighting?! I know how rare those moments can be sometimes) and because I can relate as I just went on a field trip to a nursery with Michael yesterday and all of the boys kept picking up snails and cicada shells and frogs and God knows what else while the teacher was running around with hand sanitizer! haha!

  9. Oh, they are too funny! I despise slugs. They are always after my lettuce in the garden. Poor Emma… she once had a slug in her mouth because I hadn’t washed the lettuce well enough. I guess washing leaf by leaf and then giving the whole thing a rinse 2 times just doesn’t cut it! Poor Emma…

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