“I was home alone with Aspen, so we built a fort. Not that I wanted to build a fort. I didn’t. I haven’t wanted to build a fort in the living room since I was a little boy. And not that Aspen wanted to build a fort, either. She’s a preschooler. This was her first fort.
But here’s the thing. I was trying get the laundry done, and she wanted a sandwich. I tried to do the dishes, and she climbed in the dishwasher. I tried to clean off the table while talking to my mother, and she tried to stick her finger in the dogs butt.
Mom: What’s going on? Why is the dog barking like that? Why is Aspen laughing?
Me: I’ll call you back.
I had big plans at the beginning of the day to get this house in shape, and with each attempt, Aspen undermined them, so midafternoon I said to heck with it, and we built a fort.
We put a large blanket over the couch and the easy chair. We added a dining room chair, and a few pillows. We had a front and back door. Aspen fit comfortably, while my legs awkwardly hung out the back end.
At first, the fort felt like failure. But then, as we sat in the thing, we started laughing. We played with puzzles. I tickled her, and she tickled me. And before I knew it, my wife came home to us giggling in the living room, and the house was still a mess.
We had an awesome time in that fort. I don’t know if Aspen will remember all this, but I know I will. There was a warmth there that will probably stick with me forever, and when I think about that, I realize that sometimes building a fort is more important than… well… anything.”
Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected].