Let them get dirty. It means they have been outside, breathing in fresh air, warming their skin in the sun shine, running, climbing, playing and expanding their imaginations. They’ve been pirates or rogue princesses, dragon slayers and knights in shining armour, they’ve presented cookery programs with much needed mud pies, and opened rose petal perfume factories with margarine tubs and a stick. They’ve wrestled lions, crocodiles and bears. They’ve crossed continents, landed planes and been to space. They’ve sailed ships across vast oceans and caught rare sea animals with fishing nets. They’ve been farmers, space women, scientists, train drivers, explorers, archaeologists, zoo keepers, bakers, builders and fire fighters. They’ve helped mermaids washed ashore, discovered new planets, fought off dinosaurs and rescued the kitten from the tree. They’ve had fun, tired themselves out, made memories.
So let them get dirty, because tomorrow you will wake up and find a teenager. And those days of tearing your hair out with washing piles, bath times and grubby knees will be gone. And you will long for one more day, to let them get dirty.