I Built a Fort

Lately I’ve been thinking about how I interact with my boys. I’ve been wondering how much they’ll remember of our lives in this particular here-and-now. I’ve been imagining how they might remember their mother when they’re grown.

And it makes me sad.

Because I have such a temper. I have such a temper and such an inability to deal, that I routinely switch straight from ‘I’m being a nice, calm, gentle Mommy who can handle distractions and misbehavior and loud dinosaur shrieks’ to ‘OH MY GOSH I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU DO THAT TO YOUR BROTHER?!’

Sometimes they take my outbursts in stride, but sometimes I frighten them. And oh, how hollow that makes me feel.

Other times my guilt comes from not having taken enough time to teach them, to read to them, to enjoy their play. It comes from my distractible mind and my inability to ever feel like I’ve accomplished what I need to.

If my boys (heaven forbid) had only this season’s worth of memories of me to draw upon, I know they would know I love them. I bestow an abundance of hugs and kisses on my little guys. I tell them I love them all the time.

I think they would know I worked hard to care for them.

But I fear they would think me impatient and harsh. I fear they might even think I’m uninterested in spending time with them.

So yesterday, I built a fort.

I’m trying to be more aware of our interactions. I’m trying to be more patient and more playful. So, a fort:

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Yesterday I put their lunches in bowls and I let them eat in their fort.

I put the bowls on a tray and I let them help me carry it into the family room while saying, “Wunch is served.”

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Yesterday I crawled into their fort to get a tour. I sat in there with them and read them stories. (Brennan read their bedtime stories in there too.)

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Yesterday I tried harder not to overreact when one boy pushed the other, when he hit the other.

Yesterday I did some laundry, but I didn’t clean. I did dishes, but I didn’t make dinner. I didn’t try to cram in as much as I usually do.

Yesterday, I built a fort.

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11 thoughts on “I Built a Fort

  1. Love it! Maybe you’ll start having Fort Building Fridays? So great to take a day and focus more on just playing. Love the idea of making some beautiful, positive, everyday memories.

  2. As a child we built forts with blankets, in the basement, in the backyard, and anywhere else we thought of. I built many a fort with my three boys. And cardboard boxes – oh my, the things we could do with large cardboard boxes. We even once had a box canoe in the middle of the living room. Now that they are young men, I hope they look back on little things like with as much fondness as I do.

  3. That is an AWESOME fort! I thought of you and this post when John Paul asked me to do a science experiment today – skipped dinner prep and made rock candy 🙂 And the kids won’t stop talking about how excited they are to check on the crystals tomorrow! These are the things they WILL remember, the yelling and impatience will fade 🙂

  4. The irony of this is that when your kids grow up they’ll say “remember how Mom used to make those forts and crawl in with us?” Children turn one or two time deals into a “tradition.” My childhood was less than ideal, but I have a treasury of good memories of my dad doing all kinds of goofy things with me, like building crappy sand castles at the beach that we called “the Great Wall of Florida.” Hang in there 😉

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