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  • Writer's pictureA is for Agape

The Fort

Every child since the beginning of time has built “The Fort”. It comes in all different forms. Sometimes stacked pillows serve as walls.  Sometimes hung blankets wave children inside. The fort has been high up in trees and dug down into fallen logs. The one thing they all have in common is that they are perfectly suited to their small inhabitants.

Grown ups must speak from outside, pass through snacks, crawl down low to whisper love. It’s not that grown ups aren’t allowed, in fact I think the children would welcome their large counterparts. They wish them to join in their fun, crawling, climbing, wiggling, through small spaces. They want to create their own world but they don’t exclude us.

We grown ups, however, don’t feel comfortable in these spaces. They don’t fit us, we don’t fit. We imagine hitting the wrong post and everything tumbling, the crying, the sad faces staring at us. Also, we don’t bend as easily anymore, we don’t admit this to ourselves but we hear the creaks and groans trying to escape our mouths before swallowing them back.

Even though we seldom crawl into their special places, those hidden nooks, the snugly crevices, we can remember what it was like, feeling so fundamentally safe and warm and protected. It’s a good feeling, why wouldn’t our children want that. I want that. There’s plenty of time to be out here in the real world, but to be in cocoons, that’s finite.

So, when I walked in and saw the blankets and pillows strewn about, when I saw books holding the corners of a sagging yellow blanket, hung precariously from chair to table to another chair. I laughed, I smiled. And then I served grilled cheese sandwiches to hungry little monsters hidden deep inside these dark caves of comfort.

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