And taste, of course.
I've been thinking a lot lately about how different the view seems from the motherhood side of the fence. I spent my childhood out of doors. My legs were a constant mess of mosquito bites. We sat around in the evenings with a coffee can getting rid of the days accumulation of ticks. I ate dirt, I'm sure. And played in every creek and stream, climbed every tree and had a generally wonderful time doing it.
It's hard, though, to be the mama. You want to smack away every mosquito. Wash every little bit of dirt. Say "it's too hot to be out" a lot. But generations of children lived (and thrived) before the advent of hand sanitizer. I was always saddened by the children I taught who were afraid of germs and dirt and nature-- the world of childhood shouldn't be a place defined by cleanliness, I think. And so I remind myself that it's ok for the baby to get down in the dirt, and I am rewarded by the look of absolute pleasure and concentration on his little infant face.