I always wanted a tree house.



Of course, every boy in the history of the human race has wanted a tree house. Early on this had to do with escaping cave bears, but after the Great Cave Bear Threat of the Pleistocene Era had passed, having a small house in the trees changed from basic protection to something to keep out girl

I always wanted a tree house.

Of course, every boy in the history of the human race has wanted a tree house. Early on this had to do with escaping cave bears, but after the Great Cave Bear Threat of the Pleistocene Era had passed, having a small house in the trees changed from basic protection to something to keep out girls.

I might have whined to my parents about a tree house, or at least mentioned it incessantly, but most of my childhood slipped by with my yard holding only one part of the tree house equation. The tree.

The closest I came to the freedom and all-out boyishness of a tree house was when I played at a friend’s house.

His tree house was what a tree house should be – high up in the branches, with a creaky floor, wall-like things, a roof of sorts, and steps to a platform on a higher, shakier branch. Looking back, I’m surprised any of us kids playing there survived. I don’t think my friend’s parents helped build the tree house or even knew about it because it looked like something out of a cartoon.

Yikes. I just had visions of my own gruesome death.

I eventually got my own tree house, and I don’t know why, seeing I was on the verge of puberty at the time.

It was a pretty good tree house for the amount of time Dad put into it. He built a platform high enough off the ground I’d seriously injure myself if I fell from it. It didn’t have a roof, walls, much of a ladder (I had to build that myself), or any kind of safety features, such as a rail. Too bad I got it at the beginning of the last summer I’d want one.

I wasn’t going to let that happen to my kids. Sure, the Boy and the Girl never talked about wanting a tree house. Not once. But that didn’t matter. I was going to build them a tree house before they were too old to enjoy one, whether they liked it or not.

Standing under the tree in our backyard, enough lumber on the ground to build another tree or two, I realized my afternoon project that could be completed during a montage in a 1980s movie was going to hurt me – a lot.

Men are supposed to be able to do certain things. Not because we’re trained in them, just because we’re men. Like car maintenance, plumbing, killing zombies, and construction. So I, of course, didn’t ask for help. If I had, the person I asked would have laughed at me.

It took me a week, three trips to the hardware store, and a case of beer, but finally, my kids had the tree house I’d always wanted. It was stylish, it was safe, and after a dozen splinters, and my right leg covered in blood because of that saw thing, it was perfect.

Of course, I can’t get them to play in it.