The sun shone brightly yesterday and made long-sleeved shirts an adequate adornment for playing outside. Of course, the boys (ages 8 and 4) loved it. They do not like to wear coats, jackets, or even shoes. So there we were, jeans, long-sleeved t-shirts, no shoes, dividing up matchbox cars - excuse me, they like Hot Wheels much better - in the yard.
As is the custom, their job was to create roads and mine was to build houses, bridges, and other necessary buildings. They love it when I take the time to help them build a city. One day I hope they realize that I love it even more. In fact, I have developed quite a process for the building activity. First, we gather lots of twigs. Then I proceed to construct braces for the log-cabin-like structures. My process has improved greatly, because the buildings stand for weeks. The boys dig holes and I build bridges over them. We set up locations for everyone's houses, and we use moss and other natural finds for bushes, trees, and so on. The boys are very creative.
For two hours we constructed our grand city. For two hours the bills didn't exist. "Visitation" wasn't an issue. The dishes were not dirty. The floor did not need cleaned. The car could go another 10,000 miles without an oil change. None of us would age another day. The worst thing I could see was that our nails were black due to the digging. A little water and a brush will take care of that. And the rain will wash away the roads. A few storms later, and the wind will scatter our buildings across the lawn, and the boys will say "Katrina hit us hard." But we will rebuild. We will always rebuild. Even when they are too old for it, I hope they will humor me. If not, I will adapt. I will pay attention. I will always desire to have this connection, this fun, this canyon in which to fall with them. I know they need me, and it no longer scares me. However, now I am beginning to realize how much I need them. Fear is relative.