Yesterday afternoon, Emily came to the garage where I was tending chicks and asked for a mat, a hammer, and some nails. I don't normally hand my 8 year old a hammer and nails without an explanation, but I did have a good guess that she wanted to make a fort.
I've been reading about the wonders of building forts in Richard Louv's book, Last Child in the Woods, and I'd hoped that they'd get into this sometime. However, my only issue is that I don't want her carrying off a hammer in the woods and leaving it. So I gave Emily an old carpet mat and an old towel, and told her to come back when she was ready for the hammer.
As it turns out, she didn't come back for the hammer, but she and Hazel did make a fort. We have a fairly sizable brush pile in the little woodland, and unbeknowst to me, there was a spot in the back of it which was *almost* a brush cave. I went poking around this morning, and saw mat and towel on the floor, with a roof perfectly made by goldenrod stalks laying over the top of long branches. I wished I could fit in it. Hazel tells me it is just her size.
This afternoon, I'm driving the girls to Columbus to see Ser, and then drop the girls off with their grandparents, who will drive up from Kentucky to take them the rest of the way down. My in-laws have a 5 acre yard with woods and gardens, backed by pastures and ponds. My parents home, where I grew up, is frisbee throwing distance from the U.K. Arboretum. The girls are going to have a great week outside, and I wish I could go with them.