on doorknobs

DOORKNOB One of the ones that doesn’t work in this house, that old familiar doorknob, opens to my baby’s room, where he wakes and slams the rail against the hardwood walls. It won’t be long before he throws one leg over the edge and sinches out, another ninja finding his silent skills. 

When he pulls open on the knob, he’ll come to look for me. I’ll be sleeping, tending to another silent thing, or making small clinks at the dishes. I’ll scoop him up and say NoNo and put him again behind the rails, and I’ll know he’ll escape over and over until I decide to put him nearer to the floor and grant him access to all the doorknobs in this house. 

We make decisions every time we turn a knob. We make them every time we push a button. I wonder where his mind will go, what will lead him on, what doors he’ll walk past, stumble through, or hunt tooth and nail for the keys. 

Right now, I am a gatekeeper. I am a nightwatcher. I am an alarm system, a deeply coded sensor. This is my house, and another few open doors, and my babies will move from it, deciding, hearing knocks, and opening up. In their own houses, the den for their souls, already stands one knocking. 

—-

for Emily @ Chatting at the Sky.

Comments

  1. I had to catch my breath, so perfectly said, Amber!

    Steph

    Adventures In Babywearing’s last blog post..Oh, Not Much

  2. You waxed eloquent. Great post! I’m a bad nightwatcher…I sleep through everything.

    -FringeGirl

    the domestic fringe’s last blog post..Grandma – Way Back

  3. Oh Amber, if you never write a book I will be very sad.

    This is just so beautiful. I wish I had words for how beautiful it is!

    Heather of the EO’s last blog post..We wagied (or strollered)

  4. I’m not sure whether to thank Emily for demanding that you write a book (or write about door knobs), or to thank you, for following through on her demands. I love visiting here and watching you pull sweetness and inspiration from things like doorknobs and clinking dishes.

    Jo@Mylestones’s last blog post..Paralyzed by Possibility

  5. wow. i loved this. i have major fear struggles concerning my kids. it prompted me to read your other “worry” entries. thank you.

  6. Thanks, Em (I am refusing to call you by your trucker-handle of Chatting at the Sky and am preferring to call you by that nickname that I have not permission to use because, frankly, I need more familiarity in this blog-world). Thanks for recommending my wife write about doorknobs because, again frankly, I just flat like that picture she took. I like the true black and the true white mixed with the blurred yellow and brass–the knob looking so huge. I like it because I imagine that is the way Ian sees it.

    Amber, I like your comment-ors. They seem like good folks. I understand that they normally don’t allow gents to those girly-bloggy-conference-thingies that ya’ll do. So, I’ll just say if you guys (er… ladies) are anywhere near the above door knob, stop by. I’ll cook and listen to you and Amber comment in real time.

    Seth’s last blog post..MLP Bites Back

  7. Oh yeah, and I’m not against handles. I like them. I’m just tired of everyone calling me “mother.”

    Seth’s last blog post..MLP Bites Back

  8. Absolutely beautiful. This piece stirs me.

  9. Amazing. What else to say to that?

  10. Well, y’all. Goodness, thanks for the encouragement. I have to say that I had a post planned that felt all wrong. I do so much better with a writing assignment, so I took Emily’s.

    Now. If you guys could just tell me what to write in that book, too – for real – I’d be very pleased. I’m happy to write a book. In fact, that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I just don’t know what it would say. I’m not sure that my book proposal could say “random stuff I think about.” Any thoughts?

  11. i’m afraid my comment echos those before me: so beautifully written! in my house, when we talk to our children about making choices in life, we always refer to “keeping all doors open” so that they will have the opportunity to actually make choices later, rather than closing doors now through which one day, they might like to pass. so your analogy hits home with me particularly. and i love that photograph!

    patty’s last blog post..Today Is Her Birthday!

  12. Actually, it could just be random stuff – essay style. Have you read Shauna Niequest’s Cold Tangerines? It’s exactly that. Essays on celebrating small moments in life. It’s gorgeous. I’ll be happy to send you my copy. ;)

  13. I love the imagery in this post. It is simply beautiful.

    Seth’s tired of being called mother! That made me LOL.

    Jane Anne’s last blog post..Works-For-Me Wednesday: Free Magazines

  14. I agree with Jo.
    And an update on Alabama: not God’s plan for us, it turns out.
    We’re still waiting.
    :]

    brittney’s last blog post..wednesday snaps

  15. Beautiful, lovely, amazing….as usual!

  16. I plan to put my youngest in her “big girl bed” this weekend. I’m terrified! Don’t you find comfort in the “rails against the hardwood walls?” I love that she is exactly where I left her the night before. She is so excited, but it’s bitter-sweet for Mama. Would she notice if Monday comes and there’s still no mattress on the floor with her new princess quilt ready for her big girl dreams to begin?

  17. Your words are always so encouraging.
    Thank you.
    And what you said…that’s exactly what we need. I’m thankful the LORD used you to open my eyes to that.
    God bless you!

    brittney’s last blog post..wednesday snaps

  18. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

    ~Revelations 3:20

  19. Oh, Amy. I love that.

  20. O girl. You are the only person I know whose book proposal could say “random things I think about” and publishers would come knocking at your door. And turning your poetic doorknobs. I. Love. This. And I told you so. Your words turn to healing vapor in a matter of seconds…and we, your readers, breathe them in deep.

    thank you.

    And Seth, please do call me Em or Emily or whatever you please. In a moment of haste while signing up for twitter, I called myself “skychatter” and now I feel as though I belong on a Native American reservation. Skychatter: one who chats at sky.

    And now I have officially offended my Grandmother. God bless her 1/16 Cherokee soul.

    emily’s last blog post..from ugh to ahh in 10 minutes or less

  21. …(tear)….my youngest just mastered that silant ninja art of slipping over the top rail…

    Esther’s last blog post..Run and not be weary

  22. Hmm, this post resonated with me. A few years back I was so tired of just filling in housewife/mom on obligatory forms so I thought awhile on what it is I do. The title I use now is familykeeper, a word I coined from the many similarities of being a gatekeeper and protector for my children and home. Keeping the bad things out and interjecting all the good that I desire for them to learn. Much like your analogy here!

    Dina’s last blog post..natura/beauty

  23. Beautiful. Thank you.

  24. I have failed miserably at “letting go” of my adult children, I keep getting better though and I guess that is what matters. I always thought I raised them to be independent and their own person, but as they get older (they are 19 and 21) I feel an occassionally panic attack that they no longer “need me”. That feeling never last long though because the insurance payment needs me when one of their paychecks are a little short, Valentine’s Day rolls around and my son is broke so he needs me to help come up with something creative for his girl, then of course I’m needed for assistance with books for school. Enjoy it while you can!

    Michelle’s last blog post..20 Little Things To Look Forward To In Spring

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