"Daddy??? Build me a tree house... Pleeeeeeeeease."
Little Sarah pleaded with her father. She had been bugging him for months. It was spring now and he couldn't keep saying wait until winter is over. Robert was out of excuses. Slowly he nodded to his little girl. A big smile was on her face.
"When daddy??? When can we start? I wanna help."
Robert looked at Sarah and said, "We need to find the right tree first. It has to be big and strong to hold the weight of all the wood that it will take to make the tree house. It also has to be not so tall that your mother will complain the tree house is too high. There is lumber, nails, paint, etc. to buy before we can even start. We also need to make a drawing and decide how big to make it."
"I want it biiiig daddy... and I know JUST the tree. Follow me." She grabbed his hand before he could mutter a word, dragged him out of the house and down the porch steps to the back yard. They had lots of woods behind their house. The metro park was right on their property line. It was a good place for a tree house. Close to the house so Sarah could be looked after, but secluded enough to feel private too. Sarah stopped at a big tree just at the edge of the yard. It was on their property so there was no problem there. The tree had a nice solid trunk and the wide branches could hold the tree house for sure and, the branches weren't too high off the ground. Mother would approve.
"This tree will do nicely Sarah. It is a nice strong tree and its branches are big enough to give you a good sized tree house. Now... we need to get the lumber, etc.," he told his little girl as he smiled.
"When daddy??? When can we get the lumber???" Sarah was jumping up and down with excitement.
"Let’s take some measurements first and then we can make a drawing and go to the lumber yard tomorrow after I get home from work."
He instructed Sarah to go get some paper and a pencil, and he would look for his measuring tape, and they would start designing right away. THAT should make her quit bugging him for a while.
Robert liked to build. He was an architect with years of experience. Designing a small tree house was an easy task and he found he really was enjoying it. Sarah pointed out what she wanted... A window for sure...with curtains (mother would see to that) and the tree house needed a door... of course. She also wanted a skylight with a flap to close out the rain. This little project was turning out to be a big assignment. His "client" was a very demanding little girl. She wanted everything "JUST RIGHT" and it WAS better to measure twice and cut once, so he didn't mind. Anything to make his little girl happy.
Anne came out of the house with some cool lemonade. She wasn't too happy about the tree house but when she saw her daughter and husband smiling and giggling, she just HAD to smile too. It was nice to see Robert and Sarah working on a project together. Robert worked way too many long hours at the office. She sighed and made her way to the happy pair.
"I made you some lemonade," she said. She handed them each a glass and leaned over Robert's shoulder to look at the drawing. "It's coming along nicely you two."
"Mommy can you make me curtains," Sarah asked? "I want pretty curtains like in my bedroom. With flowers on them and a ruffled bottom."
"Yes Sarah, but let's get this tree house built first. Shall we?"
They all laughed and worked on the plans til dinner. They took a small dinner break and continued to work on the list of items that would be needed. Robert marked down how much he thought the tree house would cost. It was working out to be a pretty hefty sum of money. The budget would be stretched this month but it would pay in the long run. Sarah would be so excited about the tree house that they probably won't do any big trips this summer, just maybe a small trip to an amusement park or zoo.
The next day Robert, Anne and Sarah all hopped into the car and headed off to the lumberyard. Robert was quite surprised at how quickly Sarah caught on to pricing. She was adding the small sums in her head. She was a very smart little girl. It was nice to be with the family. He worked too much but, it was all for them. In no time at all, the cart was full of all the lumber they needed for the tree house. Robert paid a little extra to have it all delivered to the house. He couldn't have his 2 girls lifting such heavy things.
The ride home was anything but quiet. Talk of the tree house filled the car. Sarah was excited. Anne was excited. HE was excited. This was a great family project. With all of them working on it... NOTHING could go wrong.