Seedlings: Daddy Builds a Tree House – By Amy Wall Lerman, Editor
My husband is putting the finishing touches on our son’s backyard tree house: A little boy’s dream come true. But which little boy? We all have dreams when we’re kids. I was going to be a “mad scientist” years before I failed my first chemistry test. Then I was going to win an Oscar until I realized I had to actually attend New York City cattle call auditions just to get started. Sometimes we fulfill our dreams and sometimes we don’t, but childhood is that magical time of believing all things are possible.
Evan’s daddy is a dreamer and not just a dreamer who dreams. He finds ways to make dreams come true. When my husband says he’s going to do something, he does it and he does it well. So when he purchased a book called, “How to Build a Tree House,” I knew our lonely, old, backyard oak, would soon be the proud support-system for a magnificent boy’s hideout.
I often wonder, and ask my husband, what life was like for him when he was growing up in the Soviet Union and am always pleasantly surprised to hear that his life was not all that different from mine. Choices were certainly limited but just like the rest of us west-of-the–iron-curtain dwellers, my husband watched cartoons, played tag, went to school, and wanted to be a pilot when he grew up. He doesn’t like to think his life was limited because there are no limits to dreams no matter where you are. However fulfilling those dreams, for him, had challenges I never knew.
Even without limitations though, most of us do not become the thing we dreamed we’d be because practicalities exist and goals change as we change. We create our own limitations. When we have children it’s an opportunity to recapture a time when anything is possible so we live vicariously through our kids. We strive to recreate the childhood we had, or build the childhood we longed for – and sometimes a combination of the two.
I still have dreams for myself and for my family. My husband does to, but what I appreciate most about him, is that he strives not to set limitations on dreams – not his, not mine, and not Evan’s. Maybe that is a product of growing up within a society of imposed limitations.
But unlike me, Evan’s daddy doesn’t dwell too much on the future. His dreams exist in the here and now and include building a magical world for his son. A world where you dream of a tree house and it appears as if from nowhere. When you’re a kid you don’t see much of the blood, sweat and tears that go into such an endeavor – you’re not supposed to. But, hopefully, one day, when he’s thinking back on the days of shooting pirates from 6 feet above the ground, he’ll always know the sky’s the limit.
Happy Father’s Day to the love of my life and my dream come true…and the best daddy a boy could ask for.
Amy Wall Lerman, Editor of the Motherhood Later Than Sooner eZine, Baby Bloomer, is a television news producer and writer. She is the author of several books including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Critical Reading and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Family Games. Her poetry has been published in an online literary journal. Amy lives in New Jersey with her husband and 4-year old son.