Sunday was Noah's Ark day at church. Titus was really into the construction of the Ark and all of the details that went along with that. At lunch he told me he had drawn up some blue prints of the ark and would like to build an Ark when we got home. I agreed, having built 750 arks in my nearly 20 years of Children's Ministry work, piece of cake. I'm not sure what there is about Titus and his ability to completely dupe me into thinking what I've always done is what we will do at this particular moment--we didn't build just any ark...we had to build a 3-D ark that could house all of Levi's Little People Nativity animals and Mary and Joseph who would play the part of Noah and his wife. I was hoping that Titus would ask me who Noah's wife was and I would immediately tell him, "Joan...Joan of Ark" but it never happened. I'll save that tired old joke and keep it for later use.
Building an Ark in our house with the materials on hand was the challenge. We didn't have a supply of craft sticks (thank you Lord, the glue would still be drying) or shoe boxes...no, we had Kendra's supply of Scrapbook paper, scissors, Titus' blueprints, and a glue stick. My attempts to streamline this process went unsuccessfully, "Dad...I'm not trying to be angry at you, I'm...well I'm just not sure you are following the blueprint. I have it right here." Pressing on, with 6 year old mechanical engineer in charge. We built!
The first thing we did was build up the sides of the Ark. I folded the square scrapbook paper, carefully selected by the engineer because it looked the most like the wood that Noah used, "Titus how do you know what the wood Noah used looked like?" "DAD...my teacher told me and I saw the picture for myself in the Bible!" [thunk] "Sorry, just asking." The engineer and I laid down a floor, to match the roof--of course, and then folded about an inch of the side paper, gluing it to the floor. That made a good size U shape.
Next came the strips of paper we glued across the top of the boat to keep it from collapsing upon itself. It was pretty wobbly, but the strips of paper were enough to keep it all held up. After we glued the strips of paper on the top we had to make the roof, and glue more sides on the roof, "Dad, if there's no wall on top Noah and his family will get wet...it's going to rain for 40 days!" I'm really glad we were staying true to the exact specifications and needs for our Ark. After all, civilization lies in the balance of this boats ability to float!
After the top and sides were constructed, and the walls for Noah's house were built I had to think about how in the world I was going to get the sides of the boat to stick? I couldn't glue the razor thin edge of the paper because it wouldn't stick. What to do...what to do? Eureka! I took the square of paper, carefully cut by the engineer to be exact in size, and folded about an inch of the piece, gluing it on the floor. I made a flap which folded out and in and kept the sides pretty secure. Would the engineer buy it? Would the engineer be willing to accept that these sides are not secure and permanent? "Hey Bub, I put the sides of the boat he had excused his self to go to the little boys roomon for you. I made them fold down so...so you could put your animals in easier." "Thanks Dad, that's a great idea. The door isn't big enough for my animals, this is great."
The door was secured shut by one of Emma's hair clips. That engineer of mine! Beautiful, wonderful, creative imagination! You can barely see the pink clip, but it's there. After the animals were loaded into the Ark, Titus put it on his skateboard and played Noah for close to one and a half hours--the whole time we were at home between morning and evening worship services.
I don't know that this boat will survive the week, but I do know that the hour and a half we spent working on his creation, from his blueprint WILL last my lifetime of memories. Spending time with Titus as he opened his imagination up to full throttle is so fun to watch. His level of concentration when he is in full construction mode is unparalleled and a wonder to behold. I just am amazed at this creation of God. It gets me all excited to think about the wonderful things I'll get to do with Levi and Emma. Although Levi is my right hand in the kitchen, loves to crack those baby chicks!
5 hours ago