I have this very fond childhood memory. It goes something like this…
My sister and I grew up in the country. We loved to play outside. Since we lived on several acres of land we’d play for hours unsupervised. It was a great way to grow up.
But, my sister and I were very much like my kids. We could find trouble wherever we went. Not the bad end-up-in-juvenile-detention kind of trouble. More like the play-with-RIT-dye-and-color-yourself-up-to-your-elbows kind of trouble. But that’s a whole other story.
On this one particular summer day we found our way into a kid’s dream come true. One day, like magic, a HUGE mud pit appeared in our backyard. It was easily 10 feet by 8 feet.
And when you’re 10 years old and playing outside unsupervised in the summer what do you do with a huge mud pit? Ummm, you jump in it of course. And we did. We played in that mud pit for what seemed like hours. We threw mud at each other and rolled around in it until we were covered from head to toe in mud. And afterwards we trudged, giggling, up to the front door of our house and waited for our mom to find us. We thought it was hilarious. And in retrospect it is. But for a whole other reason.
And here is where I put myself in my mom’s shoes. Because if I opened the door and found what she found waiting outside I’m not sure exactly what I would do next. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with mud. I don’t have a problem with kids getting dirty.
But the mud we had been playing in? It wasn’t your ordinary mud pit. It was…our septic leach field. I. kid. you. not. I remember the smell to this day. Apparently as a kid I just though that was what mud was supposed to smell like.
But, no. We had been playing for an hour (or more) in septic sludge and we had no idea. Can you imagine?
I have a feeling my parents would have preferred to find out their septic system was failing some other way than by finding their children waiting on their doorstep covered in household sewage.
And this story right here is why the other day when we realized our own septic tank was failing and creating a small soggy mud pit in the backyard I grabbed my girls, took them over to it and told them EXACTLY what it was. Because the last thing I wanted to do was walk outside to find my kids playing in an E.coli bath.
After all, they are their mother’s daughters…