Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fort for what?

Yesterday the girls finally finished the last of the work on their dream fort (inspired a bit by Douglas's hobbit hole).  They made the roof from leftover metal roofing from the house last summer, and built walls from scrap lumber and some particle board Mike bought for them. The whole thing made him nuts because so many things have been added one by one to the fort that nothing is really square, and we were forever adding on, trimming or shimming. The idea was that the girls learn some basic skills with tools, but lots of the measuring and cutting required more than basic skills, as nothing was the same size at the top and bottom.

 The fort is decorated with the door from the old hobbit hole from Meadow and is bedecked with pails of flowers. There was substantial arguing about artistic differences over which colors of pails should go where, but Mike hung them on hooks so constant redecorating is possible. The girls also have the hammock hung and Anwyn has been building massive sandcastles to celebrate the new look and dress up the play area.  That whole process is a little pitiful, as the sand was purchased before she turned three and she has to scrape the whole area to get enough to work with.  Looks like we'll need to get her a bit more.

Anyway, the fort itself was finished last week when we hung the lanterns, and then it was steadfastly ignored.  Since substantial family resources were invested, and the girls have been nagging for a roof for two years straight, I pictured them practically moving out there. I know I lived in my tree house and playhouse at that age (it is best to stay outside when you insist on pulling the tops off all the baby carrots).  This weekend I required that the last of the construction material be put away, and suddenly the fort was beloved. Anwyn and her friend Rachel played there late into the night, and Leora colored on it with a marker (a sure sign of both ownership and affection.) Once I could tell they loved it, it all got better for me.  It is easy to see what the work is for when you can see their joy.

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