It was once paved with pieces of slate. I imagine it was quite pretty at some point. By the time we moved into the house, that point was more than a few years past. Roots from the maple had pushed the stone every which way, making it impossible to set a table and chairs anywhere near level on it. It was more of a broken toe waiting to happen than a peaceful retreat.
Then came the boys. Boys who love poking around and discovering bugs. And after that came a manic woman who shall remain nameless, who pulled up all the stone and stacked it on the walk along the side of the house. She planned to scuff up the dirt around the roots and re-settle the stones. Like, the next day or something. Nitwit.
Maybe it's a good thing the patio makeover hasn't happened yet, because when I got FED UP with the mess-making indoor shenanigans of two children during their brother's nap and sent them outside, I later found them quietly making mud in a hole out back. For a second I freaked internally over the mess and nearly yelled at them to get back inside but then thought, wait: the mess is already made. Ride this (totally fun and relatively harmles and ultimately clean-uppable childhood staple) pony for all it's worth! Out came the hose. And the baby brother. In the blink of an eye they all stripped down.
The fun was phenomenal, the mess was massive, and I hosed everybody down (literally) and got them into the tub before Dan got home because while he can deal with knowing that mess happened, I'm not sure he could have handled seeing the actual muck on the actual children.
This is truly the stuff that summer is made of, though...no?