Blackened Treehouse, Blackened Heart

Blog Post1I worked my butt off last week in my yard and house getting things ready for a month filled with birthday celebrations. I wanted to have everything done so I could enjoy quality time with my kids.

And then I found myself at the top of an 8-foot ladder Monday morning uselessly scrubbing for hours trying to remove dark stains that someone splattered across the back of our treehouse.

Monday was my 5-year-old’s birthday. I wanted to sit on the couch and cuddle him all day. Instead I was trying to remove invasive vandalism.

Thank you vandal.

I should make it clear that we aren’t certain who did it, but we are positive in what direction it came from.

Sunday night we noticed that one of the trees we planted last summer during the infamous treehouse compromise was dying. My husband went to get a closer look. When he glanced up he saw black splatters and streaks across the base corner of the tree house.

The corner is covered and then the stain branches out with small freckles of black peppered across the wood.

The black webs down the posts and side braces. There are discolored splashes across our new swing set. Our children’s plastic picnic table is covered in brown puddle stains. The tree stump that we built upon is polka dotted with black. Our turtle sandbox and mud-making station were also hit.

And our tree. The fast-growing evergreen that we paid a lot of money for is dying.

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As I stood on the top rung, steadying myself with my electric sander I was fuming. I still am.

I should have known it wasn’t over. But after more than a year of quiet I had gotten comfortable.

How can someone stain my life like that?

And I’m not just talking about physically. My heart has begun to blacken. I know there are amazing people in this world, but the actions of some make it hard to see the good sometimes.

Right now it’s hard for me to see the good.

The police asked us to make a financial list of the damages. How can I put a price on reclaimed wood that we ripped from our fence, pulled nails from, measured, cut and then screwed onto the tree house one by one? How can I replace the giant post and cement cinder block that are bracing up the north west corner? How can I put a price tag on all that damage?

How much is it going to cost for me to have peace in my back yard?

I don’t know the answer. Or even if there is an answer.

What type of world do we live in where a set of parents can’t build a tree fort for their kids in their own back yard without harassment?

It’s absolutely ridiculous. It disgusts me.

But there is a lot that disgusts me these days. This world is making me sad.

Beyond my back yard, what type of place is this where we are treated differently because of the origin of our birth or the color of our skin? Why do some have access to medication and health care treatment while others can’t afford to seek care? Why do I have a roof over my head while others are scrambling for food and shelter?

There is so much hatred. So much indifference. So much sorrow and despair.

I could go on and on about the injustices I see happening in this land of the free, home of the brave. From across this nation to my own back yard and beyond, this world is depressing me.

I’m sad, and I’m tired. I don’t have much fight left in me.

But I keep fighting. Why? I fight to teach my kids that there are some things worth fighting for. Like equality. Like respect. Like Love.

Like tree houses.

After all, they are the reason we built it in the first place.

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