I live in a small older subdivision near the border of Chicago. One of our neighbors has a huge beautiful tree in their yard. When my kids and I walked past the house on the way to school, they would always state, "That is a great tree for climbing!" The owners at that time had a bench swing on one of the branches and it always looked so inviting. When we needed trees for our backyard, I found the tree was called a catalpa tree, and I was able to purchase one from the Arbor Society. I was so excited even though the seedlings were nothing but sticks. I planted two right next to each other so that the tree would be perfect for climbing one day. I told my children that one day we would be able to build a tree fort or climb on it.
Unfortunately, I forgot how long it takes a great tree to grow. My children grew up and left their childhood home but as the tree grew, they would enjoy the limited shade it provided. The flowers became fairies, and the seeds were used as make-believe cigars or swords.
The tree now stands as high as the roof. Birds build their homes in it now. If I am blessed with grandchildren, I know that one day they will enjoy my lovely tree.