Not too far from our concrete-lined sidewalks, is a park with a playground, a library, a small stream, hidden by a strip of trees. It’s not much, in the way of a forest. Just a strip of trees. These trees are often the source of moms of toddlers saying, “Don’t go in that woods… it’s muddy.”
And, it often is.
I don’t have toddlers anymore. Instead, I have boys who are desperate for a place to explore. Something that reminds them of the wild and free spaces they find at the lake. In this strip of trees, they have found it.
This strip, is big enough. In fact, it’s just right. The fort-building has been going on for weeks now.
Planning sessions take place at school to determine what supplies, snacks and people will be involved. After school they head down to do their work.
It’s a quiet place to hang out — but there are often turf wars, especially from older kids, throwing soccer balls, who happen upon the fort, and are surprised at its elaborate structure.
Something like jealousy may invade their hearts, because when they see these younger kids with such a treasure, because there are taunts and threats, that they will be back to destroy what they’ve made.
Today was early dismissal day. Today, he took his homework there to work. I am grateful for this strip of land, and so happy they have found this space.