Door Frames, Stories, and Smiles
With this column, I start my second year of sharing Six in the Morning with you. I started writing Six in the Morning years ago for my kids. At the time, we had six kids and unbelievable events seemed imminent each morning before school. During the day, I would write a story about one of them and then read it aloud at the supper table. As the first children grew, we continued the crazy habit of adding another to the bottom until we had a small herd milling about in our home. Living large has taught me that I might as well laugh at the absurdities as cry because life happens whether we are ready for it or not.
Certain truths appear and reappear throughout our lives. They should be recorded – somewhere. Without fail, at least once, a young mother will show up to church with baby URP on her shoulder and never know it. At some point, pre-teen girls will locate an eye-liner pencil and emerge from their room looking like a frightened raccoon who has just been caught in a trap. Most, if not all, budding young men will hare through the house, lunging upwards to tap the top of each door frame.
(And that is as far as I get before a story is banging around my head, trying to escape. One word evokes a memory, which brings a smile, which makes life easier to navigate.)
Door frames seem to draw young men. One lovely day we left the children home while we ran to the store. On our return, I noticed that our bedroom door was hanging strangely. It appeared closed and yet it was not. It would not latch. I looked at the knob and the latching apparatus. There was a split in the door frame and the little hole thing where the door should latch was hanging from one screw.
I lined the alleged culprits up right outside of our bedroom door and gave them the glare.
“Ummmm…he was chasing me for no reason and I ran into your bedroom to get away.” She was shifty eyed as a wild appaloosa.
“SHE grabbed my train, and I was just trying to get it back.” He skirted around the issue while trying to assign blame.
I waited. Four blinking eyes stared right back at me. “And so MY door is broken because she grabbed your train?”
She fidgeted and was in a hurry to come clean. “No, mom, I threw the train down, but he kept chasing me and I got the door shut and almost locked.” Her chin came up a notch.
His face looked sheepish but then a flash of defiance came over him. “That’s what they do on TV.” He crossed his arms over his chest.
I pushed. “What do they do on TV? Chase their sisters?”
“No, they ram their shoulders into the doors and they open right up.”
I knew in an instant that he was not lying to me. “Ahhh…” I started, but he continued, “But your door did not open so I had to hit it again and then I heard a crack and then she was yelling at me that she was gonna tell and then it just kinda popped open, like, like, it was already broke.”
Both faces were cherubic as they blinked their innocence.
And so, I share my stories because we have all chased or been chased. We all remember our first romance. Our first car. The feeling that life is passing us by while our parents calmly do one more crossword puzzle. Times we thought we out-smarted the folks but it backfired. But, primarily, there are times we all need a small story to jog our memory to remind us that life is a big adventure and a little smile makes our day go a little smoother.
Many thanks to all of you who took the time to respond through my email (Musicksix@yahoo.com) or my blog (www.fawnmusick.com) this past year. I get to smile each time you write to tell me that your brother locked you into the closet too, or that you also grew up with squawking guineas, or that your dad checked BOTH the insurance and driver’s license of The Boyfriend EVERY time he came to your door.
I think it’s a great day for a smile.