I had to go with my dog Winston to the vet for a check-up. My son wanted to stay home and play. We allowed him to stay and play and be a kid without dog responsibilities. I figured he would be playing video games as he tends to do. Then, when we got home, I saw that he had been busy. Very busy. He built a couple of forts in the loving room. I smiled. He hadn’t built a fort in a long time. I remember him building forts starting when he was five or so. They have always cracked up. I wanted to shrink in size and join him in those little hidden spaces.
Growing up I always wanted a fort. Or at least a rather large doll house. I wanted a place that I could play in away from the world. A space that was mine that I could goof off in without a care in the world. All I ended up doing was getting under the blankets. I suppose many kids do that as well. Apparently, building forts is a key developmental milestone. Even if they are just blankets and pillows. Part of it is that boys and girls build forts as they start to create a separate self from the one defined by their family and their parents. Kids, at one point in time, start to desire their own separate place in the world. But must that desire go away once one hits teenagehood and eventual adulthood?
As I came home and saw my son’s fort, I longed for one. I laughed as I have been thinking of building a pillow fort at work for the past decade. I have often joked, for the past 14 years, that I was going to create a space to sleep under my desk right next to my 30 pairs of shoes. In New York, my office window faced the empire state building. Not a bad view that my shoes had. But instead of a nap center, I could build a fort instead, where ever I go and use my shoes as my pillows. I think I need to go shopping and get some cushy shoes.