I got home.
Rain clouds gathering, gray sludge in the sky.
A perfect opportunity to snuggle up and -
my son asked with the earnestness of Mother Teresa and the decibel level of Chuck D. "Do you want to build a houseboat with me?"
- "It's getting cold, buddy, and umm, there's rain coming and umm, maybe instead we could -"
"OH, IT'S OKAY DADDY, WE CAN JUST BUILD A HOUSEBOAT* OR...we can go hunting for sticks and leaves to build a fort so the robbers can't get us."
- "So...you're giving me a choice to either a) build a houseboat in the rain or b) build a fort in the rain?"
"Yeah. And we can protect ourselves from the robbers."
- "I don't know a three-year old who is as knowledgeable about robbers as you."
"Yeah. Let's build a fort now so the robbers can't get us. You need a sword to cut sticks."
- "No houseboat?"
"We can just build a fort right now."
I put on my boots, and he handed me a sword, and the timing was exquisite because the rain started to drench the earth so irrigation for the fort quickly became a non-problem, and we spent the next hour in non-stop dialogue about many things, but mostly revolving around robbers, snakes, structural engineering, and the importance of taking a sword everywhere you go.
I don't know if the fort itself will make it through the night. It's more like a beaver dam for bugs than it is a place of refuge for humans. But my son seemed pleased, and I hope he remembers our experience building it in twenty years, because I will.