Thursday, April 30, 2009
The stuff of Childhood - Boys building a fort
My twins sons, age 11, have been staying after school every day with a few other fifth grade boys to work on building a fort outside of the school in a treed area. They ride their bicycles to school and after school and working on the fort, ride their bikes home.
They have been bringing their hammers and nails and one of the boys even brought his dad’s electric drill, and they are hammering sticks together and hammering sticks to the side of one large tree and the boys talk about this fort all the time and building a bridge and they have been working really hard on it and it means a lot to them.
They have been going after this with a fervor that is refreshing and old fashioned and sweet and so much of a boy thing. The stuff of childhood. Old fashioned childhood.
Lately there has been discussion that certain middle schoolers are wrecking their fort. “I think I know what middle school boys are destroying our fort,” they tell me.
Last Saturday my husband and I and the twins’ 6-year-old brother walked over to the school to see what this whole fort thing was about. I wanted to see with my own eyes what all this excitement was about. I loved it. The boys were busy designing different areas of the fort and helping each other out. “Hey, Andre hand me the nails,” one of my boys says.
The fort transported me back to my own childhood in Corvallis when I used to build forts at my friend Jeanie’s house. Only ours were with folding tables and blankets in her living room.
I love it when 11 year old boys are boys. Outdoors. Exploring. Adventure. Creating. Away once again from neon lights and electronics.