A few weeks ago, we finally started the process – by first finding new homes for our travel gear. Then my husband put up plastic along the wall that opened onto a bunch of pipes and also hooked up a lamp and strung some LED Christmas lights. That was cute, and the girls played in it, but there was more to come.
One recent Saturday, the girls and I spent the morning painting. Then I pasted on a Disney princess border, and the girls put up appliqués. Finally, Daddy hung a floral curtain over the plastic "wall," and we put down - what else? – shag rugs. And, voila! The girls have their princess fort, which my husband and I affectionately refer to as "Fort Bismuth," for obvious reasons.
Why did we go to all this trouble when the girls already have a lovely bedroom and a spacious playroom? I guess the answer is, “Why not?” Sure, we had to find new homes for our luggage – no small feat considering how often my husband travels! And we had to invest some time and a little money into the re-modeling effort. But, ultimately, each “cost” was negligible compared to the joy that the fort brings the girls.
I like a well-ordered, clean house as much as anyone. And I like “grown-up home decorating,” too. So our living room will never be fuchsia at the girls’ request. But this is their home, too; they belong here as much as we do. So we determined there would be no harm – and, indeed, there would be great benefit – in creating a special new space just for them. After all, kids must hear “no” so often every day for the sake of safety or character development. So why not honor their requests with a “yes” when we’re able?
Of course, this whole process has sparked my girls’ imaginations. So the next project to tackle - after the spring thaw – is the space under our deck. After all, they'll need an outside fort, too.