It’s never too late for the “fort”
When my son was a little boy I dreamed of all the things I would do with him. Things that my dad had never done with me all that much. I’d take him fishing and hunting and to sports events. The problem was that no one had ever taken me fishing and I never learned to fish. Yes, there are men like me who missed that opportunity to learn to fish and enjoy it. I never went hunting either. To this day I have never gone on a hunt. I’m okay with that. I’m not athletic and was never involved in any sports teams. But I wasn’t going to let that stop me.
I did take my son fishing a couple of times. Only a couple of times. He got very bored when there wasn’t a nibble. We never tried hunting. He never had an interest in sports. I guess he was like me in that regard…not very athletic. He played soccer a few seasons. I was at every practice and game. He spent more time looking up at the cloud formations than he did paying attention to the game. It was obvious that he had zero interest in sports. I was okay with that.
Then I read a book titled “Build the Fort Today”. It was about not putting off those fun things that little boys love such as having a fort to play in. I promised myself I would build the fort. I am not sure I can pinpoint the exact reason why but the fort never did get built. We have a lot of great memories of things we did together and I don’t think he harbors any ill feelings because he didn’t have a fort. But it has nagged at me through the years that I never built the fort.
My son is now 25 and still lives at home. A friend stopped by with his modified truck and talked about putting it in a local car show. My son voiced an interest in going to the show so I found all the details on it and we went together. Our friend won an award with his truck. A week or so later I heard of another car show and told my son about it. Chris and I went to the show together and had a good time looking at dream cars. Neither one of us have any mechanical skill but both of us share a dream of wanting to have a show car. Chris had sold his Ford and we had been scanning the ads for something cheap that he could pick up as he searched for another job. He asked what the chance was of finding an old car that could be fixed up and put in a car show. We had a very low budget so I knew we’d be looking at a fixer upper. I found an old El Camino in the right price bracket but it needed major engine work. We would both scan the ads for old cars that worked but needed a lot of TLC. Then we found an 86 Camaro. It had been sitting for years not being used and the owner now decided to sell it. It was in Chris’ price range and he bought it. We have worked on it together replacing worn out parts and getting it ready for the road and eventually it will be in car shows.
The car has become our “fort”. It came to me earlier today that we might have never built the fort together but we’re building some fun memories working on this old Camaro together. Chris has now suggested that I also find an old Camaro and we do some father-son entries into the local car shows. Wow…this is like putting an addition on the “fort”. I’m not going to let this opportunity escape me. We put up a car port the other day which his Camaro now sits under. I still wish I had built the fort when he was little but I now realize that all these years later I have found a good substitute for he fort. We have discovered an interest that we both enjoy. Like I said, neither one of us know anything about mechanics…but we are learning…at the same pace…but digging in and reading, studying and working on the car as much as we can. And, who knows…maybe I’ll find that old classic that needs fixing as well and you’ll see us both at the shows.