Stay-School Adventures: Spring Cleaning, Days 25-28 | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Guides » Kids VT

Stay-School Adventures: Spring Cleaning, Days 25-28


Published April 14, 2020 at 9:43 a.m.

A new welcome sign for the play fort - CAT CUTILLO
  • Cat Cutillo
  • A new welcome sign for the play fort
The swamp next door has become my spirit animal. It takes in toxins, churning them over like a giant strainer and purifying the water. It squeezes the best parts out of bad things — a perfect example of what to do when life gives you lemons.

On Saturday, I was staring out the window, looking at the swamp, when my friend called from Brooklyn to tell me her father had died that morning of COVID-19. I looked at the swamp, trying to churn out something to say.
Spring cleaning in the fort - CAT CUTILLO
  • Cat Cutillo
  • Spring cleaning in the fort
Earlier in the week, my kids had announced they were “moving out.” They spent the week spring-cleaning their play fort in the backyard revamping it into a “permanent” residence. My daughter got the idea from an episode of Fancy Nancy.

The play fort was like a clown car, filled with old balls, bats and baskets overflowing down the slide. I couldn’t believe how much had been crammed in there. We finally had our answers for where all the lost items had been hiding.

I watched my kids hand off piggy banks and miniature furniture to each other, beautifying their nine-square-foot space with a small stool, a tea set and a handcrafted chandelier made from pipe cleaners, tape and ribbon. They asked my husband to wood burn a "Welcome" sign, then secure it over their front door with a drill.
Inside the play fort - CAT CUTILLO
  • Cat Cutillo
  • Inside the play fort
With every passing week of isolation, my kids' imaginations flourish and they connect more with their internal worlds. It's as if the daily costumes are shields, enabling them to create their own realities.

The trash has become their treasure. They even intercepted a tattered rainbow tablecloth on its way to the garbage can. It’s become the portal to their new life.

Cat Cutillo is a Vermont-based photojournalist, writer and video producer. See more of her work here.

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.

Speaking of...



Comments are closed.

From 2014-2020, Seven Days allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we've appreciated the suggestions and insights, right now Seven Days is prioritizing our core mission — producing high-quality, responsible local journalism — over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.