Each night for the past three nights I have had to make my bed before climbing into it. And by “make my bed” I mean gather sheet and blankets from the floor to re-position them on and re-tuck them under the mattress. This is due to the fact that my children have deemed my wife and I’s bedroom as the ideal location to pitch a tent. And it is – the ground is soft and level, free from rocks. It has some higher shelter already provided. It’s near a source of water, restroom facilities, and even a shower. And our sheets seem to be just the kind of lightweight material needed to provide temporary lodging.

However, while I respect their creativity and resourcefulness, I told my wife last night that I was going to rip all the covers off their beds each day so that they have to make their beds each night before they go to sleep. She wisely said that would just mean more beds for me to make each night. And even if I were to set that plan into motion, it would require removing the dream tents that three of them have on top of their beds. And that’s to say nothing of the forts that currently fill the basement. All three levels of our house bear evidence that my children seem to be overcome by the need for protection upon protection. Shelters within a shelter. Walls within walls. Maybe they know something I don’t.

I guess these are good life skills to have. If trapped in the wild with nothing but couch cushions and sheets, they will be able to construct low clearance shelters and roofless fortresses with keen and well-honed dexterity, provided there is no crosswind, inclement weather, or sloping terrain. So, in the interest of their future preservation, I will let my room serve as their campground. But maybe they can add “leave no trace” and “making the bed” to their set of survival skills.

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