When they've made it their own

Nels built this tree house (with some help from the girls) before we built our own house. Since then, to his disappointment, it has stood empty in the woods.

Yesterday inspired by the new Kit movie, Lou decided to make her doll a tree house and then remembered that we actually had a real tree house.

The next thing I knew, she and her friend were calling me to bring a broom and could I please remove a broken window from the floor? They were full of ideas of how to make it their own.

Lou remembered that my mother had given us a big bolt of fabric for play. "Could we please use it?" she asked. We took it up, along with some nails and hammers. The fabric was so thin we were able to just rip it to the size of the windows and nail it up.

See the bird nest? Doesn't every tree house need a real bird nest? There weren't any eggs in it, but it was pretty fresh--filled with beautiful moss.

I heard hammering coming from the woods all afternoon. The walls are now plastered with pages ripped out of magazines such as Body & Soul and Martha Stewart. I'm sure Nels never imagined his tree house would look this pretty :)

Lou is already up this morning thinking about ropes, pulleys, and all sort of things. Lou and her friend have made the tree house their own. They have imbued it with their own selves, their own creativity.

Every kid needs his or her own little spot of privacy, a sanctuary to hide away and be secret. Some of my most vivid childhood memories are of hiding in various forts we made all over the neighborhood. They are a big part of my childhood place--the place that still provides me with roots.

Our tree house stood empty in the woods because it wasn't really the children's. Now Lou and her friend are filling it with their most special stuff, the things they prize and feel are essential. They are learning more about themselves, creating powerful memories of place, and having a blast doing it.

Dawn  – (July 12, 2008 at 10:33 AM)  

I hope Lou has many happy hours in her tree house. I love how she made it her own. The Kit movie hasn't come to any theaters near us yet, but my daughter can't wait to see it. That's great that it was able to inspire your daughter to find a special place of her own.

Anonymous –   – (July 12, 2008 at 12:01 PM)  

Looks like a really nice treehouse, especially with the curtains :-) I can't wait to have a yard and build a playhouse for my kids.

Funny how sometimes we think our kids will love certain things, and then it takes forever for them to really use them.

Angela  – (July 12, 2008 at 3:17 PM)  

How wonderful! A treehouse is every kid's dream! I can just imagine all the fun the kids are having. Make sure to take photos as they fill it up!

patience  – (July 13, 2008 at 1:49 AM)  

What a magical thing! We had treehouses as children - nothing as grand as yours, just planks of wood we nailed up there ourselves. Playing in treehouses should surely be on the list of ten things every child should do before they grow up.

Lisa Anne  – (July 13, 2008 at 7:37 AM)  

I have fond memories of building tree houses with my older brother and cousins, but I don't think they would let me play in it once it was built-No Girls! Oh well, I had fun building it and then I would pick berries for my grandmother and she would bake something just for me. We have a huge tree house on the farm, most of the fun is having a friend to build an imaginative world around the place and since Amelia doesn't have many friends around to build this world she doesn't play in it. I even bought a pully for her birthday...could be that she is just getting too old *sigh*
I can't wait to hear about Hels's experience at camp.

Jessica  – (July 13, 2008 at 8:04 AM)  

You are right, every kid needs a special place that is their own. As a kid, I loved the "cave" that the pinetrees along the fence created. I spend many, many hours in my "living room" reading away. Your tree house looks like it is going to be enjoyed for many hours this summer. It sounds like the Kit movie is great, as well!

RunninL8  – (July 13, 2008 at 1:55 PM)  

Horray for treehouse resurection!
That is so great that they were so involved in making it their own-seeing it in a new light!
And what a great treehouse it is!
I wish we had trees tall and thick enough for a treehouse! On our property, it might only be 1 ft off the ground!!

Lisa  – (July 14, 2008 at 7:10 AM)  

Just lovely. Wishing your little ones a many happy hours in their treehouse.

It looks like you are all having such a wonderful summer.

woolladyfelter  – (July 15, 2008 at 8:35 AM)  

What a great way to spend a summer - they will remember it forever!

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