Smelly Socks: Springtime brings the boys out of hibernation

By Anita Spisak
April 18, 2013 at midnight
Updated April 17, 2013 at 11:18 p.m.

Charlie and Adam enjoy the spring weather.

Charlie and Adam enjoy the spring weather.

City Life

Ah, springtime. The time when a young man's fancy turns to building?

My boys have been cooped up in the house for almost four months now, so at the first sign of the crocuses sprouting up and the robins building their nests, my boys, too, have come back to the outdoors.

They did go outside this winter when we had some snow, but for the most part, it had been really cold and blustery. It didn't stop them from going outside, but there was not much to do.

Now, with the weather warming up, the boys have decided, together, to build a clubhouse, joust on pretend horses while holding sticks (yeah, I really love that one) and figure out how to climb a tree that really should not be climbed, all the while dressed in vests and long-sleeved T-shirts, because they just "look cooler" than their winter jackets.

Adam got the idea to build a clubhouse one day when we were at Home Depot, and he saw the stacks and stacks of lumber they have.

"What a clubhouse we could build, Charlie!" Charlie, of course, being the strong and silent type that he is, just picked up an 18-inch long piece of 2-by-4-inch and handed it to Adam.

As luck would have it, one of the guys who work in lumber saw the boys and found it amusing that they were sifting through the scraps. Mind you, they were just scraps.

So he approached the boys and asked whether they needed help. Adam looked at me hesitantly, and I just said, "Why don't you tell the nice man what you need."

He then proceeded to try and explain exactly what he was going to build and the exact type and size of wood needed. The man directed him to the scrap pile and said "you can have those over there."

So Adam thanked the man, grabbed the two longest pieces of wood and dragged them off to the front of the store, heading for the cashier. When I told him pieces were free, he looked surprised and said "Even better, Mama!" So we headed out of the store and out to build a clubhouse.

When he came home, he went out into the backyard and carefully laid out his pieces of wood to form the base of the clubhouse. And that is where they still sit today.

Adam and Charlie are slow planners and workers. Do I think the clubhouse will be done by the end of summer? Maybe. But more than likely not and not if Papa (Joe) doesn't help them.

Right now, they're busy trying to figure out how to climb the Linden tree in our back yard.

It doesn't have thick, sturdy branches, but so far they've put a wooden plank up against the base of the tree.

Charlie came up with the idea to put a plastic wastebasket next to it, step on that and then hike up the wooden plank until you can grab onto a branch with your hands and hook your leg onto one of the limbs.

I only pray that one day I don't hear the words every parent fears, "I think I broke a bone."

But I must say that I am glad that they are not wasting time inside with TV and going on about how bored they are. They are finally, after a long and cold winter, playing outside and doing the things boys are supposed to be doing when the weather finally warms up.

Anita lives in Chicagoland with her husband, two boys and two dogs, one of which is a girl. Email Johanna Bloom or Anita Spisak at



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