Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Destroying the play set





For over a year, I've gazed out my kitchen window and stared down an eyesore.  Our wooden Costco play set, once the centerpiece and highlight of the backyard, had fallen into disrepair.  It was in need of a good facelift in the form of a power wash and re-staining.  When we evaluated the time and money it would take to revive the play set with the fact our children have outgrown the swings and slides, we decided to give away the play set.

I put a listing on a local sellers' Facebook page offering the play set for free.  The catch:  the lucky recipient had to disassemble and haul away the play set.  Within minutes, numerous people responded to my post.  I notified the first person.  She came out once to look over the play set.  Then, her and her husband returned with tools to slowly take the play set apart for transport.

About an hour into the process, they had second thoughts.  As they pried nails from boards, alarming things were discovered.  Poison Oak wound itself around lower planks.  Carpenter bees had feasted on the play set rafters.  And, many of the wood planks collapsed due to rot during transport.  The would-be owner turned down the play set.  Her response, "It's not worth it, even if it is free."

Can't blame her.

What was left in our yard was a wood pile and a half-disassembled play set.  It looked like a lumber autopsy gone wrong.  I sat in my kitchen and glanced at the disarray in the backyard with dismay.

But, my boys looked at the backyard differently.  They saw it as an opportunity to be helpful and to flex their manly muscles.  They requested to be helpers in the demolition.  And in a moment of questionable parenting, I agreed.

Within seconds, four boys rushed out of the house and charged the play set.  They clutched all sorts of "tools" for demolition, things like snow shovels, gardening shovels, and baseball bats.

Within minutes of my boys engaging in their "project," the news of the demolition swirled throughout the neighborhood and every adolescent boy within a five mile radius descending on our backyard carrying his own tool of choice.

I supervised and ensured a modicum of safety was enforced.

I watched my boys and the neighbor kids have a ball.  This was their chance to destroy, and they relished every single moment.  

If you want to know how to make a boy happy, give him a baseball bat (or snow shovel or gardening tool) and a piece of wood to destroy.  Smiles are guaranteed to follow.

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