Dirt between your toes

You wiggle your toes in your socks. You can feel the dust just stuck there. You know it was a good day.

Parks in Tokyo, Japan have a lot of bare dirt in them. It must be an American Midwest thing, but I’m used to a lot more grass. Winter in Japan is bone dry. Rainfall here is minimal and you’re lucky to get more than a day of snow cover for the entire winter. Perhaps I never really noticed the winter grass back in the United States because it was always covered in snow. Here, the grass dies and turns hay-colored. Sticks to you like crazy if you lay on it as well. All that dead grass also yields to the dirt and you and the kids come back looking a little tan after a day at the park. Watch that tan run down the drain when you hit the shower.

I have yet to find any socks or shoes that prevent dirt-osmosis from happening. Despite that gritty feeling, however, it does give me pause at the end of the day as the dirt washes away to think about all the fun I had with my children outside. Basketball on the dirt court, hide and seek on dusty hills, tag on the dirt field, sandbox time, or some jump rope practice while whipping up our own little dust devils.

So go out, get some dust between your toes, and experience the purest of smiles on your kids’ faces.