The Gaping Underbelly of (fill in the blank…homeschooling? permissive parenting? unschooling? creativity?)

Terrain project from 2010 or so on its way to the trash can


I went up into the attic in search of trash to fill our garbage can. The trash gets collected early on Thursday ´morning so on Wednesday, I often search the house and yard for eyesores that we would be better off without. This goes best when no one else is home so they cannot raise objections.

This particular trip to the attic yielded the huge unwieldy mess pictured above. It is the last remnant of a terrain park that my third son build in his room about 6 years ago. It was for remote control ATVs to be driven at speed over.  He used a hot glue gun to attach huge amounts of styrofoam to a cardboard under structure. Then he used liquid insulation to build up mass. It occupied about a 8ft by 6 ft by 6 ft area of his luckily large bedroom for about 6 months. Like many of the large amazing things that got built in our house during twenty years of homeschooling four kids, I do not recollect much about it getting used. The kids were builders and “makers” to use the recently coined appelation. (Except for maybe my middle son who seemed to direct play for hours as long as it involved some kind of proft margin gor himself.)

At some point, terrain-park son wanted to reclaim the space in his room and relegated the terrain mess to the attic, which is also very large. There, it provided spacious housing and a wonderful defecation landscape for mice. The mice also snacked on the cardboard so that by the time I began removing chunks at a time, I needed a broom to sweep up the bits and deteriorated materials. I had waited a nice long time; about 5 years before I began the slow removal. Today was the first time my 18 year old son saw me relegating any bit of it to the garbage….and all he said rather happily was, “Oh man, that was lit, making that thing.”

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