Doors have ears

Sep 21, 2014, 08:33 IST | Meher Marfatia

Wham, bang, damn used to it I am

Wham, bang, damn used to it I am.

I’m tested tough, roughed up enough.

My frame shivers and shakes each time I’m slammed — which is often.

I’m the door to a children’s room.

I have two sides, one into the room, one out. I’m always on the side of the kids.

I’m the buffer between them and snooping, spying families.

The room I am entrance to has changed. Nursery toys to new age gizmos. The kids are now in their teens. I understand they need me more than ever before. So I’m proud to be barrier, shield and guard. It’s what I do. Bar them as best I can from nosey outsiders. They pry. I protect.

Those adults knock on me pretty much more than they should. “Open the door, open the door!” I hear incessantly. As if shouting in shrill repetition could get my hinges creak apart even a bit. To think a plain piece of housing hardware can cause such stress. Stopper me from inside and everyone goes apoplectic. Adamant I be kept ajar.

But shy lovers can’t do without me. I keep them close. Screened and secluded from the world. The space within (“behind doors” as the parent police put it) is their haven, their hush, their heart. I’m happy to provide the privacy.

Tender to torrid, crushes to tiffs, I see it all. Chances, romances, hand holds to bolder bliss. As hormones rage with the angst of the age, I’m mute witness and calm refuge. Far from the madding college crowd — or high school where first kisses are sweetly stolen — I stand security. It works this way, whatever my size. Small homes install me as a sliding door. Space saver, they say. Life saver, I believe.

No judge am I, mine not to reason why. My wood has weathered many a storm. I know how hot tears drop. I feel the ferocity of young blood flow. I’m privy to its passions, its pauses, its pains. Dating girls and boys fight hard on either side of me. Silent sentinel, go-between, I get both leaned on and against a lot. I listen, I look. A soft sigh here, a wistful whisper there, I learn the lexicon of early love.

Easy does it. Quit bothering to find out beyond what they’re willing to tell. Kids call you coolest if you let them be. Moods swinging from chipper cheery to broody black, they’re busy doing their own thing in the room. From strumming a fresh riff to mixing an EDM track, from zapping angry face zits to sculpting washboard abs. Leave them alone... to try, to train, to think, to dream, to dare, to discover. This is sacred turf. Come in when they want you to. It’s not as if they don’t.

I’m door to a bedroom, not a jail cell. Throw away that mental lock that blocks. Trust is the key. Turn it around and watch me open wider, chink by welcome chink.

Okay bye. One of your kids just walked through. Maybe you’re let in, maybe not?

Meher Marfatia is the author of 10 books for children and two for parents. She has mothered her own kids well past the terrible twos and almost past the troubled teens. Reach her at:

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