Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Defend or Nurture

My little girls were delighted when their dad built them a swing set in the backyard. They "helped" him. They chattered all morning and all afternoon as he read and reread the instructions and assembled (and reassembled) their playset which came with an attached two story house.

Next door lived two little boys and their dad built them the same swingset from the same kit. They also helped their dad but with a lot less chatter. Their roof was a different color. That seemed to be the only difference and it was all we could see over the fence. These boys made a lot of noise once it was up. It sounded like all of the noises you would see printed on the old Batman movies - "Bam! - Powie!" There was always a lot of action and clanging of weapons - sounds of attacks and surrenders.

One day the boys climbed to the roof of their fort and peered down into our yard. Same swing set-different scene. My girls were quietly in the midst of a tea party on the front lawn of their playhouse. There were babies in cradles, babies in strollers and one in the swing. "Moms" were busy rocking, feeding and tending their little charges. Window boxes adorned the sides of the playhouse and curtains hung in the windows.

Same kit from the hardware store. In one yard it was a fort to be defended. In the other it was a home filled with baby dolls and nurturing.

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