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Monday, January 31, 2011

My daughter closed her door this morning...

This morning something interesting happened.

My daughter shut the door to her room while getting dressed.

I was standing in the bathroom grooming myself in front of the mirror and as I looked into my daughter's bedroom, I caught her eye as she was getting ready and watched her move toward the door closing it nonchalantly behind her.

I've seen her close her door before, but I thought it was to keep her sisters out of her space. At least this is what I've been telling myself. Usually in the morning when it's just her and I getting ready before middle school, she doesn't concern herself with such details. She is open and free. Doors are open, lights are on and things are unrestricted.

There was just something in the transaction this morning that felt like we were symbolically "closing a door" on an innocent season of life. These closed doors crush me. I want to preserve her innocence for as long as possible, yet despite my best efforts to buffer her from reality, something on the interior speaks into her habits and patterns pressing her to conform to nameless and irresistible instincts of privacy. I want her to live "open-doored" with me about everything and this morning her body language said loud and clear, "I want my privacy."

There is something about looking at a closed door between you and your kid that is scary.

It is a "right of passage" to some degree where they are testing their legs and their independence. It is perfectly normal for them to not want to be seen naked at some point. (we would be having bigger issues if it were the other way around). But there is something about having children that takes you back to Eden, a place where you lived unaware of lurking evil, in a beautiful state of un-self-consciousness. When the door is closed on those Edenic rooms that you've enjoyed for several years of there childhood, the door is closing on the wardrobe to Narnia.

Your ability to escape into a world that is "naked and unashamed" is stolen away from you whether you like it or not. You are left with "clothed and ashamed" once again and something about the house is seemingly "adulterated with adulthood" all in one moments decision.

I don't mind clothes, but I hate cover up.
I don't mind independence, but I hate isolation.
I don't mind maturity, but I hate pretension.
I don't mind privacy, but I hate secrecy.
I don't mind make-up, but I hate make-believe.

There is something in the sound of that closed door this morning that felt like I was witnessing Genesis 3 in living color. I went from Eden to East of Eden and with the slamming door I saw angels wielding flaming swords wordlessly saying, "You won't ever be able to return to this place". The supple skin that once was enough will be covered by sheep skin.

That door today was a fig leaf.

As I stared at it with hatred, I was reminded again that I am far from Eden and Heaven. I am East of Eden and West of Heaven. I can't wait for Heaven.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this post.

Elizabeth Joy said...

Thank you, Jason, always enjoy your blogs.

Babs Coppedge said...

I've been reading your blog for a while, and I always find myself just a bit envious of your easy, yet masterfully worded, style of writing.

When I read this entry, I couldn't help but be drawn back to the memories of my own with my kids. I never thought of the need for privacy in the terms in which you write it out, but your words resonated deep within me and I had to comment.

Comparing a child's transition from 'open door to privacy' to the garden of Eden is beyond deep, it's spiritually insightful.

The loss of unashamed innocence is a difficult door to walk through.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure I didn't want to be seen naked by my father from the time I was like 6...never mind middle school aged!!

Jason said...

I'm not talking naked...just seen in underwear. If you're not a parent, it won't make sense, but they go from being totally free with their nakedness to adding more and more clothing as they get older, as they should. But there is something that gets clothed over their heart at the same time that is hard to watch. They become more closed and clothed with their innocent hearts hiding behind fig leaves for fear of "who knows what". The world has gotten to them and as a parent it kills you to watch them losing their Edenic heart and beginning the age-old inheritance of hiding we got from our ancestors, Adam and Eve. I just don't anyone to think I'm cool with girls just staying naked in front of their dads their whole lives...that would be a lack of self-awareness that would lead to another conversation around another unfortunate issue. I'm simply talking about these small losses of innocence on the outside and the inside and how they parallel each other at times.