By Tim McNicholas

MOKENA, Ill. (CBS) — We often tell you about government wrongdoing and bungled bureaucracies – but not this time.

A mom in southwest suburban Mokena reached out to us with a story involving blueprints, a building permit, the mayor, and an inspector. And as CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas reported, the central character in this story is a 9-year-old boy who is sure to put a smile on your face.

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Of all the tools in Jameson Tyler’s box, from hammers to safety glasses, his imagination is the most valuable. His friends are imaginative too.

“Me and my friends, we were like, oh, we should build a fort,” Jameson said.

And they were gong to do that right in Jameson’s family’s front yard. And at first, Jameson’s mom thought the idea might be a little too ambitious.

“To try to deter that, we said you couldn’t do that unless you had a permit from the village,” his mom said.

But the boys were more determined than she knew. You see, Jameson has severe asthma, which can sometimes be triggered by the cold weather.

Also, thanks to COVID, the friends have been playing outside often. They thought a fort might be a good spot for a break, and might even have some windows to keep the air flowing.

“Just in case its really like hot or cold outside, we can just go in there and chill.” Jameson said. “We were kind of in a rush to do this.”

So the boys took measurements of an area in the backyard rather than the front yard – which mom might prefer – and dropped them off at the mayor’s house around the corner. A couple of weeks later, the mayor called and said he wanted to meet them at the Mokena Village Hall.

The permit was approved.

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“I mean I’m proud of them and I’m shocked at the same time,” Jameson’s mom said.

“I was like, how did this happen?” Jameson said.

“During such like a cruddy time, it just meant to much to them to get approved for something as little as a fort,” his mom said.

It was a bright spot in Ms. Tyler’s year too. She said she hasn’t been able to work as a substitute teacher at all this school year – mainly because she has been busy helping her kids with their schoolwork.

“It restored my faith in humanity because it was really such a simple thing to do, but it made the boys so happy,” she said.

Now, they need to start the building phase. Jameson had $17 saved up, but he quickly learned that wouldn’t cut it.

“We would need building supplies at this point, maybe a couple contractors to come and guide us along,” his mom said.

If someone does want to help, Jameson sold the idea of the experience pretty well – and his imagination will be there to lead the day.

“I just like hitting stuff into wood,” he said. “It’s fun.”

The Tylers said the village didn’t even charge them a permit fee.

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Tim McNicholas