It’s that time of year again, and although it’s certainly been a bit of an extra challenge this time around, Cathy has managed to put together a Mud Games for Sunday, July 26th that, in my opinion at least, manages to still capture the spirit of where it all started (see below if you don’t already know about Mud Games), while balancing it against the specific challenges and anxieties of our present moment in time. As she said, it’s a bit different this year, but it’s on!
I’m particularly proud of her for coming up with the parallel idea of the Goosechase virtual component, for anyone who isn’t comfortable with the idea of a synchronous in-person visit to the Wallow; holding that game open for a week’s time will hopefully get at least a few people to take advantage of the Wallow on their own time and comfort level, even if it isn’t part of the traditional in-person event. (And Goosechase looks to be a total blast anyway; I hadn’t known about it before. 🙂 )
We’ll be working on clearing the Wallow this week, and are looking forward to making the event available to people with as many reasonable accommodations as we can manage. We realize it may wind up being very lightly attended for a host of reasons, but the mud will still be there for those who need it!
What is Mud Games?
In a nutshell, Mud Games is an annual summer event brought to Homer in 2010 by the late and much-missed forces of nature otherwise known as Carmen Field and Lisa Matlock. The idea is simply that there are some kids who, for a host of reasons, never really get a chance to play in the mud; so, why not put on an event, with a prepared mud wallow, in which playing in the mud is the point entire?
It has thus become one of the highlights of our year. There are always a few kids who come for the first time and clearly are not quite sure what to make of it; usually with a parent trying earnestly to make it clear that it really is okay. (This is a special kind of adorable.) On a whim, during one of the early years when it seemed like the vibe among the kids was a bit too reticent in this way, I thought I’d help make the “really, guys, it’s okay” point a bit more obvious…and so became Mud Monster Dad.
It worked, and even became kind of a thing over the next few years. What I’m most happy about, though, is that the role of Mud Monster Dad is simply no longer needed, because in the last few years now, the kids just pick up whatever incentive they may need from the other kids. The vibe is still very friendly and accommodating even for the first-time, I-still-don’t-know-about-this kids.
At some point I should probably go back and write up more of the history of this wonderful event; given how important it has been to our family, I’m a little surprised I haven’t done that already.