Tree Fort

Many years ago, when I was raising my four daughters, we lived in a neighborhood that still had woods and ponds and brooks unscathed by the desire to turn every inch of land into mega-mansions and ultra-malls. Most of our neighbors had sons, much to the girls delight and/or dismay depending on what area of maturity they were at in their development.

During a time when the boys were yucky, they (the boys) got together to build a tree fort directly across the street from our home at the top of a rise that elevated their view directly into the second story rooms. When the girls spied the boys in the tree fort, they would pull down the shades, squealing with delighted disgust that their privacy was being invaded. The boys would whoop and holler, make gun sounds, jump from the limbs of the tree and run commando style through the woods.

During the time that the boys had become cool to be with, the tree house served as a place to meet. From the vantage point of my bedroom window, I could see them walking down the street and back, sometimes bumping into each other, only to blush and separate all giggly. My oldest daughter and her now husband, whose family lived two doors down from us, made this into a fine art. One evening, they managed to stay out until close to 11 on a school night as they walked each other back and forth from front door to front door! This escalated into what I called the Sweetheart Chant, as one of them would remain in their own drive way, as the other walked down the street to their home exclaiming in turn, "I love you!" "I love you, too!" "I love you, three!" "I love you, four!" "I love you, more!"

At some point during the days when the boys and girls alike were traveling off to colleges and lives away from the neighborhood, their parents and each other, I came home to find a "Sold" sign on the tree fort. Maybe it was hormones, maybe it was exhaustion, maybe it was my desire to freeze my babies in their places until I was ready to let them go...whatever, I pulled the car over and cried. Then, I ran into the house, wiping the tears away and desperately tried to focus on the scene to capture it on film before someone saw me.

My "baby" just turned 24 this week. My oldest is 30! My babies have babies of their own. In celebration of all that has past and all that is yet to come, I post this picture. Love you the moon and back!


Jake Roche said…
Linda this post is wonderful.. I remember all the good times spent over in that neck of the woods.. I have nothing but fond memories of spending time with you and your family..

It's funny how the proximity of where you grow up determines the memories you eventually call fond as an adult.. What luck we had to live so close to each other.. Also the luck of my brother and I to be relative in age with your daughters, with Gwen old enough to babysit..


I'm subscribing to your blog.. Thanks for the kind words about my poem.. Talk to you soon :)

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