Slowly but surely I am accepting that I cannot be the architect of my girls’ childhood—I can participate, do what I can to guide them, but they’ll draw their own conclusions, find their own joy and build their own memories. What I can do is give them an incredible backdrop and template for believing in using your strength, smarts and imagination to do whatever you want. It was for all these reasons that last summer we built the girls a club house.

We picked a site.

We drew up some plans.

We purchased supplies.

We built into the space. Literally.

Finley kept the wood hydrated.

We got sentimental as we planned to use a window from our first house.

It began to take shape.

Briar took a test run.

The girls helped.

I helped too.

Helping can be fun.

I kept Sean slightly annoyed.

It began to rain. It rained a lot.

The sun came back. It was perfect in every way.

The surroundings were spectacular.

The window and clear roof came together.

The girls and Beso gave it a thorough inspection.

They decorated.

When fall came it got the full house test with the neighbor kids.

All winter long we worshipped it from across the yard.

I cannot wait to see where their imaginations take them this summer—inside, outside and all around their parent-built club house.