Cushion Fort


My wife is working alongside her mother to construct a slip cover for our couch. They have a funny little set up in the basement with a couple of makeshift tables, sewing machines, and cuts of fabric everywhere. The basement is a wonderful mess of craftsmanship. They’ve been working for a couple of days now to get this done and have some wonderful progress.

The fantastic part of the process is the couch cushions being unattached to the couch. There’s only one thing to do when couch cushions are displaced; build a fort.

There’s a special joy to a cushion fort.  Perhaps it is that should it fall over, the walls won’t crush you.  Maybe its the transformation of couch to building.  No matter what brings about the fun of a makeshift fort, they have an undeniable draw.  If cushions are available, they will be arranged as walls and then stacked upon one another.  Like waves to a shore line, it just has to be.

The firstborn has never had to share his little forts though.  That all changed as the newborn chased him into today’s fort.  With a drive unparalleled, the newborn crawled with force to find out where his brother went.  And once the newborn entered the fort, he refused to leave.

“Dad, could you move brother?” The firstborn asked as he tried to exit.

The baby was moved, the firstborn escaped, the baby crawled back into the fort.  Like a wave to shore.

The sound of sewing machines pulling thread through fabric filled the basement.  The boys laughed.  The firstborn spoke a little too loud.  The smell of pizza hung in the air and as the boys played their game in the fort I pulled out the phone to snap pictures.

I take a lot of photos in fear that I will forget some of this stuff as time marches on and the kids grow older and lose their need of me.  As I snapped photos tonight I wondered if in preserving the memory of the time, was I missing the moment?

I would never take a camera out at a concert.  That is a unique event, a singular time that cannot be captured in a photograph.  Is it any different from raising these kids?  The time spent snapping photos is time not crawling around with them or being beside them in a fort.  There’s a balance to be found in the photos to play ratio and right now I’m a little too tipped toward photo.

Photos are important.  They chronicle our stories when words cannot and fill in the gaps when words fall short.  I want to be able to give these two wonderful boys their complete stories, but not at the expense of not being part of it.

Virtue is moderation and all things must find balance…blah blah blah, I think ultimately the phone just needs to be put away more often.



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