Friday, December 30, 2005

How A House Is Built

Sometimes, truly amazing things happen – and you are lucky enough to notice them.

One of Sam’s favorite books is titled How a House is Built. It shows exactly what you would expect, in 3 year old format. Each contractor has a different color shirt. Every task is perfect, simple, and easy to understand.

The septic tank contractor never encounters bedrock or unfit soils. The formwork carpenters never have blowouts. There are no union issues. The building inspector never stops by with a surprise inspection, shutting the job down for three days until . . . but I digress. In the end, the house is built in 20 or so pages to everyone’s complete satisfaction.

Sam decided a while back that he liked the plumbers best. Why? It remains, along with where he learned the word “booby”, one of our family’s unsolved mysteries.

Sammy received a large tin of Lincoln Logs from my father for Christmas this year. At first, Leah and I were much more excited than he. Think about it. If you were three years old, would you find excitement in a barrel of Lincoln Logs? No. They would look like a pile of broken, brown sticks that should have been for your brothers.

But we were not to be deterred. Forcing our fond childhood memories onto our son, Leah broke open the tin and proceeded to build Sam’s first little house. Sam was enthralled, and we have built a house a day since Christmas.

But Sam has also branched out to try his own industrious experiments in Lincoln Log Construction.

One morning, while his bedroom door was shut tight to keep “the brothers” out, we overheard the dumping of many loose pieces of something. There was then virtual silence for five minutes. As Leah was waking the twins, Sam came tearing out of his room, holding out a single piece of Log and yelling, “Mommy, guess what this looks like? A septic tank!”

Curious, Leah poked her head into Sam’s room, only to see the start of a Lincoln Log house along with How to Build a House open to the first pages. Sam was using it as a guide to build his house. Simply amazing.

Thank God he didn’t try to dig the foundation, or Mike and Lisa would have had a hole in their bedroom ceiling.