I just returned from dropping the boys at Marching Band practice. It is hard to believe they started High school yesterday.
I guess I am feeling a bit nostalgic. As I pull in the drive, I can't help but notice the tree house in the backyard. Standing like a sentinel, weathering each day, waiting for the next adventure. I remember the trip to the home improvement store to purchase the supplies to build it. Oh the grandiose plans, one would have imagined the Taj Mahal just listening to the two of them chattering. I smile as I think of them out there with dad building their hideout, eyes gleaming,dreaming of all the fun they will have ambushing the enemy from such lofty heights.
I can still recall the admonishment as I watched them dragging a good portion of their bedding through the family room headed for the retreat. Remembering still the..... "we won't leave it out there, mom"; "we promise". I suppose it is burned deeply into my sub-conscience because I really remember the heavy,sopping, mess making it to my laundry room after it rained on it! Moms always have to spoil the fun by getting mad.
The ladder never seemed to materialize, which is just as well because it kept out the undesirables,or something like that. Getting up there was more of a challenge and required a knack;which they both mastered in no time flat. The sad thing was watching the dog sit and stare longingly up there when they were entrenched and know she dreamed of being able to get up there with them. These days, even she seems a bit grayer, a little older. She doesn't whine at the door any longer around time for the bus to drop them off. I guess she knows they have much too busy schedules to be caught riding the dreaded bus any more. Avery was just commenting the other day that her well worn path to the fence where she would watch for them had grown back in.
Many hours have been logged in that old tree house. Many battle plans gone over and executed. Extension cords wound like brightly colored snakes through the grass and up the pole to power the all important boom box, music blaring, I have been thankful for understanding neighbors.
Laughing I can recall Evan's science project being launched from the tree house in its debut flight before being turned in at school. The challenge was to build an apparatus that would hold an egg and allow it to safely survive a drop from a 2nd story window in class. What a concept and design he created! Elaborate? Not really; it was a plastic coffee can with two rows of rubber bands webbed through the middle, poked through holes in the outside. Held in place by toothpicks and ductape it was a huge success and earned him an A. He credits the gigantic parachute he attached to the whole thing as the reason. I believe he still has it in his room somewhere, not quite ready to get rid of it. I think they have inherited some of my creativeness and this too makes me smile.
This spring my hubby and I claimed the space underneath the tree house as a cool shady place to enjoy a cup of coffee. We have made our own plans to tear down the now slightly sagging fort. The idea is to build a roof on the poles and a deck under it, a gazebo of sorts; an "under a tree" house for old folks, if you will. Oh the grandiose plans we have chattered about as we have sat there. I can't help but tear up as I think of this Remnant of boyhood all too soon to be replaced by grown up things.
Just this past Sunday a sweet lady commented to me what nice young men they have become as she watched them help with the offering at Church. I too am proud of the handsome young men they are, though part of me is pining for those boyish antics to return. Time goes much too quickly, perhaps the time isn't just right yet, perhaps this remnant of boyhood will need to remain intact, keeping its place of honor among the branches for a bit longer..........