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Tom Sawyer versus Aunt Polly

June 5, 2011

     When did I turn into Aunt Polly?  As I stood by the creek watching my girls swing out over the muddy waters, this nasty thought crept in.  “I am no longer Tom Sawyer, I have become Aunt Polly.”  I hope you are all familiar with Tom Sawyer, the original, all- boy, kid.  His adventures were the things kids dream of, girls included.  Oh how I wished I could build a raft and sail to my own island.  But today I realized somewhere along the line I was still relating to Tom and dreaming like Tom but I had turned into Aunt Polly.

     As I voiced my concern to my girls, one of them said, “Maybe it happened when you turned 50.”  Now you know my age, the big 5 0.

     Today I had to push myself once again to be a better Mama.  A lovely little creek meanders by our home.  Our sons have diligently hauled and stacked rocks across the creek right where an old rope hangs from a tree.  Every moment my children get, they rush out to that rope, and as it swings out over the water time dissolves and they are Tom Sawyer, Pollyanna or any other early American child at play.  I of course have had the normal Aunt Polly reaction to this situation.  “That water is filthy!!” “Who knows what is in that water!!”  “That is sooo dangerous!!” but then that small Tom Sawyer voice whispers, “Aw come on, let them do it!”  Thank God Tom is still in there… somewhere.

     Dear Mamas it was not easy.  I had to overcome my strong Aunt Polly instincts.  First of all I had to take the time to change my shoes.  This may sound silly but once my shoes where changed, the victory was won.  So often it is that first step of inconvenience that we must overcome, and when we do, we are on the home stretch.  Then I had to hike through the knee deep forest growth, including mud.  Then I got to stand on the creek bank swatting deer flies and mosquitoes.  I got to stand and bite my tongue as I wanted to keep reminding them to be careful, but as they played and plopped into “the filthy water”, their joy and youthful innocence thrilled my ‘Aunt Polly’ heart. 

     There are very few opportunities in today’s society for children to have the Tom Sawyer type of experiences. We have become ultra careful and ruled by structured playtime.  My challenge to you today is to listen to the inner “Tom” voice.  Encourage your children to go outside and play, get a little dirty and maybe even find an adventure.

NOTE:  Swimming in a creek is a dangerous activity.  Know and be familiar with the area you are swimming in.  Be sure there are no hidden branches, deep holes or swift currents. If possible know the source of the water. Never let children swim unsupervised and make sure the child and the adult can swim well.  AND NEVER dive head first into ANY creek, pond or lake.       Signed – Aunt Polly. 


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Kelly Helton permalink
    June 5, 2011 11:57 am

    I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog. You are such a great writer and I enjoy your challenges and tips for us moms to stop for a minute to enjoy our families. Thanks for sharing your heart and your talent! Kelly-

    • June 5, 2011 11:58 pm

      Thanks Kelly, I have learned the hard way that busyness does not lead to peace and family togetherness. Jesus is helping me to see the simple pleasures in life and to write about them. Thanks for reading my blog!

  2. June 9, 2011 10:29 am

    Hmmmm…maybe I can let them do all that because I had 6 brothers and wanted to be in that mud with them?
    Thanks for letting Caleb play too. You are a blessing.


    • June 13, 2011 12:14 pm

      Don’t you just love mud? I do, except on my carpet and floors. Oh well, a little mud will do us all good. We all love Caleb, thanks for sharing him.

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