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Zaleski: A glorious day in Vermont's mud season

When a grandparent is blessed with triplet granddaughters, discovering-the-world stories are thrice the fun. Spring is "mud season" in Vermont, where my daughter and her three 5-year-olds live. The rural roads become treacherous stretches of suck...

Jack Zaleski
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When a grandparent is blessed with triplet granddaughters, discovering-the-world stories are thrice the fun.

Spring is "mud season" in Vermont, where my daughter and her three 5-year-olds live. The rural roads become treacherous stretches of sucking goo. Some are impassable.

A few warm, sunny days turned the yard from ice to mud. It was triplet heaven. Their mother tells the delightful story of a day last week when snowmelt flowed and new mud was thick. Warm air wafted over the snowpack, wrapping the hills in pea soup fog.

McKenna Faith (Kenna), adventurous and competitive, saw an opportunity to run, slide and splash into the mud. Or drop from a tree branch onto a melting snow pile, slide like an otter down the snow into the mud. Her sisters declined.

Analytical and industrious Harper Dakota (HarperDo) engineered tiny dams on rivulets that flowed through the mud puddles. Given her independence, attention to detail and confidence in her work, she declined her sisters' help.

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Bennett Sage (known as BeeBear), saw her new world with wonder. Mom watched out the window as BeeBear walked in the fog, her face to the sky, her mouth wide open. What's was going on?

BeeBear explained: "Mommy," she said, wide-eyed and smiling, "what does fog taste like? I can't tell. It flies away ..."

Then later after a session in a puddle that covered her from hair to chin with mud, she said: "Oh Mother, isn't the mud glorious!? I just love it!"

Mom had no idea where she'd heard the word "glorious," but BeeBear got it right. The joy of the spring day shined through the mud on her little face. A day for the scrapbook, for the memory file.

Whether it's mud-sliding like an otter, building a mud dam or tasting the fog, the three little girls continue to amaze. "Mind" is forming in their developing brains. Their curiosity, which we seem to lose as we age, ignores nothing, embraces everything. And everything is new. The beautiful innocence of their mud-covered joy is, as BeeBear would say, glorious.

Reach Editorial Page Editor Jack Zaleski at jzaleski@forumcomm.com or (701) 241-5521.

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