I’m not sure why the dots connected the way they did, in my head. Nevertheless, they did. I swelled with pride, and didn’t even know how to communicate it. I gave our 7 year old a giant hug, applauded a bit, and smiled ear to ear. I told our girls I was proud of them.
So what had they done?
They’d built a fort. Without any help from a grown-up. It used several blankets, and covered a good portion of the living room. It also contained an aspect of fort-building even I had never before attempted. Allow me to rewind a bit….
Imagine me as a high schooler. I’m hanging out with a couple of friends, and it’s really late at night. I think we’d decided to pull an all-nighter. I remember it being pretty dark outside, hours most people were sleeping, and we were full of energy. Obviously, it was the best time to build a blanket fort in the living room. His dad came out to sit in a chair and watch us. That’s right, to watch us. Not to help, but because apparently watching us was more entertaining than any other options available that night. Thinking back, I’m sure he was right. I remember several instances of heavy toys or containers that we’d set on high locations came tumbling down on our heads within the fort.
At least a year ago, maybe more, we were taking a family drive. As a snack, we passed back “Fruit Roll-Ups” to the girls. I guess we didn’t realize our girls had never had one before. Because after hearing the outer packages ripped open, a few moments passed before we heard “Moooooom!? I don’t like these.”
“Really? Why not?”
“Well, they taste good, they’re just reeaalllly chewy!!”
We laughed at ourselves as we realized our daughters didn’t know you’re supposed to unroll the flat fruit, and take out the cellophane wrapper. They’d simply removed the outer paper wrapper, and began to chew it. Needless to say, once the plastic was removed, they enjoyed Fruit Roll-Ups as much as anyone who loves chewing on sugar. Time has passed since then, and obviously they’ve matured a bit in their approach to complicated things like building a fort.
In middle school, we were required to take an elective (ironic, I know) called “PSI” (Problem Solving Instruction). I don’t remember much about it, except that obviously some people aren’t very good at dealing with challenges, and coming up with solutions. It was an easy class, filled with “what if” scenarios, and answering how we would respond to challenges. Maybe the whole joke was that, if you applied to “opt-out” of the class, they allowed you to. I didn’t.
All of that to say…my kids are great problem solvers. They continue to show a growing wisdom (Luke 2:52), and I’m proud of the young woman they’re becoming. When the blanket wouldn’t reach, she tied a scarf on, and tied the other end of the scarf to something heavy. Genius. Next time we go camping, I’m letting her set up the tent…:)