Little Boy Heart, Big Boy Muscles

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The ultimate snow fort complete with "escape chute."

Yesterday not only did it snow, it snowed “good snow.” The kind perfect for snow balls and snow forts. The kind Paul has been waiting for.

“Let’s build a snow fort this afternoon…” he tells the kids looking out the window, watching the quarter size flakes fall down.

The kids are game, and that afternoon six mittened hands are ready to build. Andy, Kate and Luke build a humble little fort under the apricot tree about yea high and prepare for battle. They spend the next while building a snowball reserve and practicing retreat routes. Paul, on the other hand, gets the industrial sized snow shovel off the drive and roots around for a decent sized plastic storage bin. Twenty minutes later he has half a dozen large “snow bricks” completed and in place. Whoa.

He manages to lob enough snowballs at the kids and their fort while building to keep them squealing and diving for cover until the sun goes down. That’s when the kids come in begging for hot chocolate and the back porch light flicks on so Paul can see better.

Fast forward another hour. Dinner’s ready. Roasted Chicken, mashed, potatoes, gravy, the works. How many times do I call Paul before he comes in? Three.  After we’re stuffed silly, does he stay for dessert? No. He simply pulls down his cap and says, “Hon, here’s what I need you to do: find me a big board.”

“What, like a cutting board?”

“No, like a big board to support the roof to the escape chute.”

“I’m sorry, escape chute?”

“Ya.” And with that his gloves are back on and those size 14 Sorels are chomping down the back porch.

It makes me happy to see the little boy is still inside that big man of mine. It was like he was finally big enough to build the snow fort he had always dreamed about, and he had an excuse to do it.

That’s one of the great things about having kids: you get to do all the fun stuff again, only this time around you’re better equipped: you own your own tools and there are no parents around to tell you to come inside already.

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