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The big boys (I think everybody with more than 2 kids has a line between the big ones and the little ones) have spent the last week carefully constructing a hay fort in the barn loft. They are quite particular in the building process, upgrading minute details every day. One day they changed it so wind was blocked from one angle another day they made the rooms tall enough to allows easy adult access. It’s impressive – and I’m not just saying that because it’s been partially built by stringbain and limabain. We’ll see if my predictions of engineering and architecture careers pan out…

I was under the impression they were just doing this for fun during the day…but they had an ulterior motive. Once they had perfected the fort they wanted to try it out and sleep in it. My first instinct was to say no. Seriously, the forecast was a low of 20 degrees that night. We don’t own any decent camping equipment. We have 1 sleeping bag with a broken zipper that doesn’t even properly close. I’ve discussed my camping issues before, and I knew I had two choices: let them figure out how to make sleeping in the barn/hay fort work or totally squash their dreams and ambition.

I chose door number 1. I had to, I mean they’re 10 and 12, and they’ve got to make progress on true independence, not me checking on them every half hour. Saying no would be easier for me in the short term…a lot less worry and fewer tips on wearing long johns and extra shirts. Long term though, not so much. Long term, I don’t want their memory of me to be one that only talks about how hard the next step in adventureland will be. You know that voice that says: it’s going to be hard, cold, dark and difficult without the right equipment.

Pretty sure that’s a life lesson. A lot of times life is hard, cold, dark and difficult. Even as a resourceful adult it doesn’t feel like you’ve got the right equipment all the time, hell not even half the time if you’re me. But you get encouragement and forge ahead…and wind up with another (hopefully positive) adventure under your belt, and if your adventure is in a barn in the winter, sometimes you wake up with a duck on your face!