My daughter, Wren, is participating in the Student Slice of Life Challenge for the second year in a row. She has shown so much more independence with the project this year. Last year, we often thought of ideas together and then she would draft out loud while I typed. This year, she made a list of ideas in her notebook and has gone back to the list every day as she sets up her Chromebook and gets to work all on her own. This year, I’m supporting her just as a reader.
I was surprised by her post a few days ago because she chose to write about something that happened to our family a few years back now. It was something that I had even considered writing about, I even had this blank titled space “Locked Out,” just waiting to be written. Then, Wren wrote about it, so I thought I could go there this week. I would write about the same incident from my perspective. So, here it goes:
We pulled into our dark street, illuminated only by the streetlights. I looked back at the girls in their car seats. Luckily, no one had fallen asleep. But, it was definitely past their bedtimes and I was dreading the transition into the house, into pajamas, and into bed. We had just come from Grace’s (Dawn’s daughter’s) dance competition so the girls were ready to crash from exhaustion and the sugar rush from the Skittles we had bought them.
“Everyone unbuckle,” I called out as I pulled my jacket closer, bracing for the cold February air and the whining I knew would come.
I grabbed all of the garbage that accumulates after an outing with three kids, my bag, and Rose. I left Arnauld to gather Wren and Adi. I balanced everything carefully to open the door leading from our garage into the house. Locked. I was surprised. We never lock this door. I tried it again. Still locked.
“Did you lock the door?” I called to Arnauld.
He didn’t even answer. He just walked over to the door to try it for himself, like maybe I had been lying.
“Do you have a key for the front door?” he asked, trying the door again.
“Nope,” I said running through other possibilities in my mind…the windows were all locked. My parents have an extra key, but they were out of town. It seemed like we were stuck. What were we going to do?
Arnauld started rummaging through the tools in the garage and I stuffed the girls back into the car, out of the cold and out of the way. They hopped from the front seat to the back, pretended to drive, and giggled with excitement, no worry on their little minds.
I asked Arnauld what he was doing. Did he have a plan? But he was in serious mode and was working without answering. He fiddled with various tools and the doorknob with no luck. He went back to the tools and came back with a saw…
“What are you going to do with that?” I asked.
No reply. He just began sawing away at the door jam.
I went back in the car with the girls as he sawed away.
Finally, after sawing around the bolt in the door, Arnauld pulled the door open.
This was not the end of the day that I had imagined. Looking back, I would have been grateful for a little whining and a rough bedtime. At least Wren and I both got a Slice from that eventful evening!